Even while in quarantine, families have to eat. And a Heritage High School graduating senior has done her part to help Midlothian households give their kitchens a break by providing them delicious meals.

Briana Mattice, who is set to graduate from HHS, will be attending the prestigious Culinary Institute of America in San Antonio this fall. Last week, Briana got the opportunity to showcase her skills locally.

Teaming up with chef Jeff Hargrove of Texicurean, a food catering service in Midlothian, Briana got a chance to plan, cook and market her own cuisine concept for an entire week.

“It was a lot of fun,” Briana said. “It was a great experience. I learned a lot of things that I didn’t know about. Jeff told me I could come back at any time that I’m not going down to San Antonio. I could get a lot more experience than I’ve got.”

Texicurean, which opened in February at 412 W. Ave. F, makes fresh, chef-prepared “grab-and-go” lunches and dinners to order Tuesdays through Fridays. The menu changes weekly, and last week was Briana’s special contribution.

“Briana’s Steakhouse,” a dinner made of a 7-ounce flat iron steak with red wine sauce, scalloped potatoes, springtime succotash and carrot cake, became a hit with excellent reviews on social media.

“I wanted to do steak because steak is my favorite meat,” she said. “I’ve always wanted to learn how to make red meat.”

Mashed potatoes and pasta are two other favorite foods for Briana to prepare, she said. She also loves to make bread dough from scratch.

Briana said she would like to own her own restaurant one day. “I want to be a professional chef, like one of those chefs on TV,” she said. “It’s my dream career.”

This past school year, Briana attended two culinary class periods at Midlothian High School. This fall, Midlothian ISD plans to open the Midlothian Innovative Learning Experience, or MILE, that will include the district’s culinary program.

Briana said she is looking forward to moving to San Antonio for her studies. The institute offers a two-year associates’ degree, and she wants to pursue a bachelor’s degree afterward and would love to work in Los Angeles, eventually.

“It’s funny, because you’d think a lot more girls would want to be chefs, but now more guys want to,” she said.