Local high school principal launches YouTube channel to feature student chefs

Local News

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A local principal is highlighting culinary programs around the the Las Vegas valley and he’s using social media to do it.

It all began over the summer as a fun way to talk about good food.

“I told my wife, I do a lot of cooking, I eat a lot of food, maybe I’ll do a Facebook live and see where it goes,” said Dr. John Anzalone, Sierra High School prinicpal.

It all started with a backyard BBQ at Anzalone’s home and quickly spread to sharing family and friend recipes.

“Immediately my principal friends are calling me, my buddies are calling me, saying ‘What are you doing? This is really cool but you’re crazy,” he said.

As the principal of Sierra Vista High School, he was admittedly a little outside his comfort zone. But he had a plan and he needed some insight from an expert on how to grow his social media audience so he turned to his son.   

My 12-year-old son told me about YouTube. He said ‘Hey Dad, you got to get with the younger group, you got to get a YouTube channel.’ And that’s where it really blew up,” Anzalone said.

“The Johnny Eats YouTube channel” was created as a collaboration with other principals as a way to profile student chefs across the school district. One video focuses on student cooks from Desert Pines High School who whipped up some find Asian cuisine.

“I love his YouTube channel,” said Amaiah Davis, a senior student. “It makes you realize there are young chefs all over the valley that love and have the same passion you do for cooking.”

“Now, I  have the culinary programs from all over town calling saying, ‘Hey can Johnny Eats come to my school?’ So, I say I do have a day job, you know. But I have no problem going out there, showcasing those programs, these awesome kids, principals and teachers.”

Anzalone said students used to address him as principal on campus but know he’s known as “Johnny Eats.”

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