Kidsday reporter Benjamin Wojcik and his dad, chef Scott Wojcik,...

Kidsday reporter Benjamin Wojcik and his dad, chef Scott Wojcik, in their Wantagh kitchen. Credit: Wojcik family

My dad, Scott Wojcik, is an expert chef. Although many people are good cooks, my dad attended culinary school, has worked in several restaurants and has lots of experience. He is not just a cook; he is a chef. He actually had no plan to become a chef until college when he started working at restaurants to make extra money. He started to really like it, so he stuck with it. Eventually, it became his passion.

My dad’s favorite food to cook is something that's very simple but can be made in so many ways with so many ingredients and flavors. It is the sandwich!

He feels that most people overlook it, but not my dad. He loves to grill a steak, make coleslaw and toast a nice piece of bread. He says toasting bread is the way to go. One of my favorite foods that he taught me to make is fried calamari. It has a simple breading, gets put in 350-degree oil, and it cooks for 90 seconds. After 90 seconds, take it out and sprinkle salt on it. My family was so impressed the first time we made it for them.

My dad has worked as a chef everywhere from The Inn at Little Washington in Washington, Virginia, to Le Bec Fin in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to Hugoś in Portland, Maine, to Besito in Huntington. Although he does not have a specialty, he has told me he really enjoys French cuisine. My mom loves when he makes salmon for her, and I especially enjoy his Italian truffle rice balls. His homemade guacamole and salsa is always a hit at all our family gatherings. No matter what I am cooking with my dad, from pancakes to steak sandwiches, we always have fun doing what we both love.

Valentina Gatti and Bonnie Hersch’s sixth-grade class, Wantagh Middle School