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EXPLORE B-MORE Spotlight: Degan Maguire!


Who: Degan Maguire, Digital Harbor High school student, founder of the DHHS Cooking Club, and winner of the Little Havana Chilli Cookoff, Youth Division, and beneficiary of the Killer Cupid event at Little Havana on February 22nd, 2020.


For Degan Maguire, cooking has simply been a part of his life, whether it was cooking with his grandmother and his mother, or today in cooking for himself. Cooking for him is both practical and creative, as he can bring together a unique dish while also saving money in the process.


Noting that his friends were not as skilled in the kitchen (and with no formal Home Ec course as part of his school’s curriculum, the fourteen-year-old Maguire took it upon himself to form a cooking club. He sees this not only as a way to help his classmates learn a useful life skill, but also gain the confidence to potentially look for work in professional kitchens. To that end, he’s looking to get ServSafe certification for all members so that they could get jobs in local restaurants. With the support of club advisors Ms. Nicole Veltre and Chefs Brunson and Greene, he’s working hard to make that vision a reality.


The EXPLORE B-MORE Killer Cupid event in February collected donations to help equip their kitchen, but they are still seeking out more tools and books to add to their cookbook library. If you’d like to help out, a full list of desired equipment can be found below, or gift cards from Amazon.com, Webstaurant, Katom, or other local restaurant supply stores would be gratefully welcomed. Any and all donations can be dropped off at the Digital Harbor High School front desk and they will make sure it gets to the Cooking Club directly.


As for the food Maguire wants to teach members how to make, expect Italian to be high up on the list. He can make fresh pasta from scratch, and his go-to favorite meal to make for himself is a dish of noodles, cream, tomatoes, mushrooms, and spinach that he’ll either add some shrimp or some chicken to depending on his mood. He also enjoys Central and South American cuisines, particularly Mexican and Peruvian. And as for that award-winning chili, not only was it his first time entering a contest like that, but it was also the first time he ever cooked it completely on his own. Maguire is definitely going places in the culinary world, and we here at EXPLORE B-MORE can’t wait to see what he does next.


DHHS Cooking Club Desired Equipment List:

  • Knives (Chef’s knife, serrated knife, and a paring knife)

  • Cutting boards (heavy plastic/wood)

  • Mixing bowls (metal/stainless steel preferred)

  • Dry and Liquid measuring cups/spoons (glass/metal preferred)

  • Can openers (electric and handheld)

  • Colanders

  • Vegetable Peelers

  • Spoons (metal commercial kitchen grade preferred)

  • Whisks

  • Spatulas (silicone preferred)

  • Tongs (preferably metal)

  • Stainless steel 10” skillets

  • 8-quart large, heavy pot

  • Sheet trays (stainless steel preferred)

  • Fine mesh sieve

  • Oven mitts (Silicone and commercial kitchen grade preferred)

  • Cookbooks in good condition

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