D’Marcus Jenkins ’18, has loved to cook for as long as he can remember. “Breakfast is my favorite thing to cook,” said D’Marcus. “I like all types of food, though.” At Althoff Catholic High School’s annual career day, D’Marcus was excited to see a chef on the schedule. After Chef Jerry Conway’s presentation, D’Marcus approached him and asked for his business card. A few days later, D’Marcus contacted Chef and was invited to The Grille at The Mansion for a shadow visit. That one-time visit turned into an invitation back to the restaurant and a part-time job. In this blog post we are delighted to share portions of a letter that Principal Harris received from Chef Jerry Conway and Kathy Cox, co-owners of The Grille at The Mansion.
Excerpts from the letter:
Dear Mr. Harris,
When D’Marcus came to observe we found him eager to learn and interested in everything that was shown to him. Jerry asked D’Marcus if he would like to come back for Easter brunch to see what it was like to do a buffet that had a carving station, omelet station and chafing dishes that needed to be kept full while people were eating. D’Marcus, along with Jerry’s sous-chef, and the person who would be carving the prime rib were asked to come early for prep. Unfortunately, due to unforeseen circumstances, the person working the carving station arrived late and the sous-chef was not able to make it in at all.
D’Marcus stepped in as our sous-chef. He worked very hard and did everything that was asked of him. He chopped, fried, baked and prepped. He worked for hours without complaining (or quitting) and helped us get through a very important event. In the end he was really tired, as would be expected for someone working so hard in the heat of a restaurant kitchen. I asked him at that point if he had switched aspirations and had hopes of being something along the lines of an accountant. He had not changed his mind.
We honestly could not have made it through Easter brunch as smoothly as we did without D’Marcus. I wanted to take this opportunity to let you know the caliber of person you have as a student at Althoff Catholic High School.
Kathy Cox & Jerry Conway
Co-Owners of The Grille at The Mansion
“I am so happy that D’Marcus took the initiative and began this wonderful relationship that will allow him to explore his interest in becoming a Chef,” said Principal Dave Harris. “Every day we recite our school’s values statement, ‘Rooted in Jesus Christ and Catholic values, we aspire to achieve our personal best in all we do.’ D’Marcus’ efforts at The Grille at The Mansion are a great example of putting our values statement into action.”
D’Marcus Jenkins is currently a junior at Althoff Catholic High School. He is also a graduate of Loyola Academy in St. Louis. After high school, D’Marcus plans to pursue a culinary degree.
Keep up the great work, D’Marcus!