Bird Rock bands together for ‘Tastes of’ cookbook


By Linda Thompson


Bird Rock Elementary School kindergarten teacher Lorene LaCava and the Bird Rock Cookbook Committee are organizing a community cookbook with a catch — it doesn’t matter if contributors can actually COOK their favorite dishes, they want recipes that contributors like to EAT.

“We want to hear from everyone who likes to eat and is affiliated with the Bird Rock community,” LaCava said.

The idea came from the Bird Rock Elementary PTA’s cookbook, which was created 18 years ago. LaCava said she still enjoys using the PTA cookbook because of its “terrific” recipes.

“My hope is that this cookbook (tentatively titled “Tastes of Bird Rock”) will be another way for our community to come together — food and community spirit Bird Rock-style.”

LaCava has had a long history with the community, having grown up in the neighborhood. Her two daughters attended Bird Rock Elementary, and she was inspired by their teacher Judy Hays to obtain her own teaching credentials. Now she has been teaching at Bird Rock for the last 12 years.

LaCava said she believes the success of the school and community are interconnected. She credits the strength of the school to its dedicated teachers, staff and parents.

“But what I’ve noticed is how quickly we have forgotten, in particular, the names of those longtime school staffers who were so important in building and maintaining this successful school and this family-friendly neighborhood,” LaCava said.

She wants to proclaim their contributions to the community by placing their names on a public artwork. She hopes the cookbooks’ proceeds can fund the project.

Because LaCava lacks culinary and publishing experience, she assembled a committee to help carry it all out. “The Bird Rock Cookbook Committee is the official vehicle making this happen,” she said. Members include Julie Cockrell, caterer Linda Dowley and Lorraine Fisher, owner of Off Ramp Publishing. The cookbook is expected by the fall, if all goes as planned.

The committee still needs a design for the art because it’s contingent on the amount of money raised from cookbook sales. The committee also needs to identify the people to be honored, but LaCava said she plans to devote her summer to research.

“Linda and I will be tracking down staff and staff information based on yearbooks and any help from former students,” she said. Her research could take some time since the school opened in the 1950s.

How to submit

Recipes will be accepted by any of the following means (deadline July 31):

  • Mail to BRCC, 5666 La Jolla Blvd, #168, La Jolla, CA 92037
  • E-mail to


(login birdrock, password: 2x426)

  • Drop off at school office, 5371 La Jolla Hermosa Ave.
  • Bring to Beaumont Avenue Fourth of July Parade

Be sure to include a recipe title, brief story about the recipe, list of ingredients and instructions, your name and contact information, and your affiliation with Bird Rock.