Feast on This: A Spotlight on Mr. Casey Wolford

Feast on This: A Spotlight on Mr. Casey Wolford

Ayla Daoud, Contributor '26

I was wondering if it is true that the best test for cooking pasta is to toss it to the wall and to see if it sticks.  Knowing my parents would not like to see me hurling pasta in the kitchen, I went to Mr. Wolford, our Sage Food Director, to find out.  I’m glad that I had the chance.  Our exchange allowed me to explore a side of Mr. Wolford that I hadn’t known before.   Here are some cool things that I learned.

His morning rhythm:  

Mr. Wolford is an early riser and is typically up by 4:30 to arrive for work at CCDS by 6.  Some days, he doesn’t even get a chance to make himself a cup of coffee. 

Special mantra for work:  

Recently, Mr. Wolford has been writing inspirational quotes for his team on a message board in the kitchen. One of his ongoing favorites is “Not all Superheroes Wear Capes; Some Wear Aprons.”  Have to say that this rings true–especially on the days when we see our favorite items pop up on the lunch menu. . .

On the Sage menu:  

Mr. Wolford shared that one of Sage’s goals is to provide a variety of menu items in order to address the diverse needs and values of a large population in an effort to provide healthy options and to provide a foundation for a lifetime of healthy, safe, value-based choices.  He also pointed out that the menu at CCD changes about three times each year.  (Hint: there will be new items when the Winter menu rolls out right when we return after Thanksgiving.  Drumroll, please: items will include a baked potato bar, a biscuits and gravy entree on “Breakfast” day, and a buffalo chicken spin on the traditional mac and cheese!)

What he’ll be cooking for Thanksgiving:  

He will brine and spatchcock his turkey before smoking it. (Yum!) And as per usual, he’ll be making a green bean casserole as well as his Grandmother’s recipe for a pumpkin roll dessert.

Secret ingredient in the CCD guacamole:  LOVE and TIME.  Good food requires both.  (Otherwise, all of the ingredients in the Sage menu are available online via the Sage Dining Hall links.)

Celebrity chef he’d most like to hang with:  Not Ina Garten and not Rachel Ray.  Not even Jada.  Mr. Wolford would spend the day with Alton Brown because of his scientific knowledge about food and cooking methods.  (Fun fact: Alton Brown does not actually have formal culinary training.  He is just THAT good!)

By the way, if you are still wondering if throwing pasta is an effective way to tell if it’s properly cooked, I learned that chances are that if the pasta sticks to the walls, it probably has more to do with sheer luck–not a true test for doneness.  For the best results, you’ve gotta actually set a timer!