Fr. Dwayne McNew attended the Catholic High School Seminary of the Comboni Missionaries in Michigan, the University of Cincinnati, the Pontifical College Josephinum, The Ohio State University, and St. Vincent’s Seminary in Latrobe, Pennsylvania.
He enjoyed cooking in middle school, high school, college, seminary, and continues to cook as an active diocesan priest.
“In high school, my cooking was a matter of making main and side dishes with leftovers – such as mashed potatoes that became potato pancakes. It was always a challenge to make something delicious from something ordinary,” said Fr. Dwayne.
He worked at Wendy’s for a while where he ‘broke the rules’ by making his own scrambled egg omelets for customers. He enhanced the French toast by combining blueberry syrup and sour cream for a topping that people would request, even though it wasn’t on the menu.
At St. Vincent’s Seminary, he volunteered in the bakery and the staff gave him free ingredients in return. He set up a kitchen in his seminary dorm room with countertops, a stove cook top, and a refrigerator; he created full meals for himself and other seminarians.
“I like to see the satisfied expression on people’s faces after I prepare food for them. I really enjoy the preparation and the creative aspect of it—much like the time and preparation required for a priest to put together a good homily,” said Fr. Dwayne.
His favorite part of the meal is preparing a meat main course, but he also enjoys cooking Italian and preparing fancy desserts. He experiments with recipes and cooks low sodium and gluten free.
“I enjoy researching recipes, changing them, and making them my own. It is relaxing to cook, to create, and to watch the progress,” said Fr. Dwayne.
At a recent dinner with friends, the menu included a stuffed pork loin roast, mashed potatoes, and fresh vegetables with a gluten-free ginger spice cake.
Fr. Dwayne often doubles his recipes to share with friends or to eat throughout the week. At the Rectory in Portsmouth, he cooks for himself during the week. On his days off, he enjoys visiting friends and family in Columbus and taking a little more time to prepare, cook, and relax.
Fr. Dwayne recently collaborated with The Columbus Dispatch Food Editor, and St. Brigid parishioner, Robin Davis, to present scripture and cooking, entitled ‘Loaves and Fishes,’ held at the North Market, Columbus.
He would like to write a cookbook and laments that he hasn’t already started that project. “My Josephinum cookbook always stays with me,” said Fr. Dwayne as he flipped to his favorite zucchini bread recipe which he baked and shared with the parish staff.
A man of many hobbies, Fr. Dwayne also collects and displays a Christmas Village that takes a month to set up. He has been known to decorate several Christmas trees with the help and encouragement of Holy Redeemer parishioners.
Fr. Dwayne, one of the founders of Catholic Youth Summer Camp (CYSC), also enjoys working with youth and recalls his days as a disc jockey at summer camp. He continues to entertain kids with magic and mime.
“I enjoy sharing my faith life through all that I do - cooking, preaching and teaching,” said Fr. Dwayne.
Fr. Dwayne offers these words of wisdom: “Faith makes things possible, not easy.”