BELLINGHAM - Derek Som
has enjoyed his
Thanksgiving meal already - gathering last Saturday with his
family to do so.
On Thursday, Nov. 24, the Bellingham chef will instead serve up a Thanksgiving feast he cooked for the patients of Whatcom Hospice House and their families, as well as volunteers and employees there.
, the volunteer effort is his
way of providing a little comfort in a hard time, as families gather with loved ones who are patients at hospice house and share what may be their last Thanksgiving together.
And while he
'll be giving up his
said he will receive something in return.
"I guarantee I'm going to have a darn good smile on my face," said Som, executive chef for Thomas Cuisine Management.
The Thanksgiving meal that Som
, who also is a Lynden High School alumnus and U.S. Coast Guard veteran, is preparing will mark the first time a professional chef has prepared a meal onsite for hospice house patients and families since it opened.
will cook three turkeys - each weighing about 12 pounds - and one turkey breast, which will be low sodium for those with dietary restrictions.
also will make his
wife's famous vegetarian meatballs, he
said, "especially here in Bellingham we have a lot of staff who are vegetarian."
also will make sure there are plenty of leftovers, including turkey chili and sandwiches.
Thomas Cuisine Management
contracts with PeaceHealth to provide food for employees and patients at its facilities in Bellingham.
will be among those workers helping to prepare a Thanksgiving meal for PeaceHealth employees working on the holiday, which is around 900 people, he
, food is comfort.
And if he
can soothe patients, even for just a little bit, with a meal - "I offer the hottest, freshest, most scratch-prepared food that I can for them" - then Som feels that he's