Tryg Soares, right, is awarded the Jeff Russell Memorial Scholarship. PHOTO COURTESY OF COMMUNITY SCHOOL

Young chef receives inaugural Russell scholarship 

MOUNT DESERT — Community School of Mount Desert Island student Tryg Soares has been awarded the inaugural Jeff Russell Memorial Scholarship. 

Soares received the award from Coda restaurant chef Carter Light on Friday, Nov. 13, in the company of his teachers and family. The scholarship is named after Jeff Russell, a beloved community member and chef at Coda, in Southwest Harbor, who passed away unexpectedly in the spring. Light, his mentor and friend, wanted to honor him with a scholarship fund at The Community School, a place that meant a lot to Russell.   

“Coming to cook with the kids meant the world to Jeff and it would be so meaningful to him if he was remembered in this positive way,” Light said.  

According to Jasmine Smith, founding director of Community School, Soares embodies the same love for the culinary arts, sense of humor and zest for life as Russell did.  

Soares has explored the culinary arts from a young age and loves to cook with and for his family, and at Friday Feast at the school. “Cooking is like a craft that you can eat,” Soares said. “I have loved to cook ever since I can remember.”  

Many community members who knew and loved Russell donated to the scholarship fund and it will be awarded to a worthy recipient each year. To make a gift to the Jeff Russell Memorial Scholarship, contact Smith at [email protected] or (207) 276-8137. 

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