Our School’s Business! How Portsmouth High School Operates Gourmet to Go


Emily Carlson, PaperClip Staff/Writer

Portsmouth NH-     

Gourmet to Go is a restaurant establishment based at Portsmouth High School and sells food to PHS staff and parents, as well as the local communities such as Portsmouth, Rye, Greenland, Newington, and New Castle.  

Meals are prepackaged, so that the public can get their food easily. In order to get their food, people need to come to door 21 at PHS between 2:45 and 3:45 pm. 

The students in the Culinary Program run this program and are under the leadership of Chef Elizabeth Brown, the culinary instructor at PHS for over five years. 

 Brown explains that “Gourmet to Go was popular even before I worked here at Portsmouth High School, and I just wanted to continue it.”

Students form the menu, see an assortment of different foods and prep, as well as include the community in their passion at school. 

Sarah Longtin, a PHS junior, is part of Gourmet to Go and it is her second year being involved. People in her position get the food together and pre-package it as a team, but the process can be difficult at times. 

“Sometimes it is stressful when nearing deadlines or if something doesn’t go as planned but we always overcome it and every Gourmet to Go is better than the last,” Longtin states. 

There are many components of Gourmet to Go, such as: making the appetizer, the entree, and dessert, as well as the presentation. “I love to scale the food we make. It’s just such a fun process! I also love making the salads that we sell,” Longtin explains.

Gourmet to Go menu brainstorms are done on Monday during class. Then the shipments come on Tuesday, and on the remaining days of the week the meals get prepared. There are usually three courses, appetizer, entree and dessert, and feed about two people, sometimes a bit more. The high school can sell anywhere from 30 to 40 orders for each menu. 

Nicole Bellabona, the Career Counselor at PHS, explains how she is a regular customer for Gourmet to Go. She gets the food almost every time a menu is released to the public and loves the food. 

“The food is surprisingly high quality knowing that high school students made it,” says Bellabona. 

Anyone, besides Portsmouth High School students, can order this food by emailing Chef Elizabeth Brown at [email protected]. Once on the email list, the person requesting the food will need to fill out a form that explains what food they want to purchase and how many orders. 

For example, the most recent Gourmet to Go on March 17th had an entree of coconut-crusted pollock with ginger rice pilaf, napa cabbage slaw, and cilantro lime crema for $20. This served two people so for all of the sides and main protein, and it cost customers about $10 per person. They also had another Gourmet to Go with an orange cardamom upside down cake that was seven dollars per serving. 

Chef Brown says that, “we need to think about a spring menu for this next Gourmet to Go.”

 This will come out the week after finals and will include an appetizer of french onion soup, an entree of flank steak pinwheels, and carrot cake with cream cheese frosting for dessert. 


Gourmet to Go Form Menu February 

Home. (n.d.). YouTube. Retrieved March 27, 2023, from https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfNJhzLQ3MySl4gXZ6BomuIlZFunv4NYg6zWWE4’QIueDionjg/closedform

Gourmet to Go Form Menu March

Home. (n.d.). YouTube. Retrieved March 27, 2023, from https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdo80OPOiRrwqbWdDZV5G1wdmnaXT_6Cp2nd5DS0TROEskRbA/viewform

Interview with Chef Elizabeth Brown and her menu for the next Gourmet to Go

Interview with Culinary Student Sarah Longtin

Interview with Portsmouth High School Staff member, Nicole Bellabona