The Smithville High School culinary arts program began in the 2016-2017 school year. Ms. Rebekah Herrick is the teacher for this program. She states "This is my second year at Smithville High School and the Tiger Bistro was in the planning stages before I was hired. Last summer (2017) the maintenance department did renovations to the former sewing lab and converted it into the Bistro. The idea is to have the students enrolled in the Culinary Arts classes prepare and serve food to teachers and district staff to give them “real-world” experience of working in a restaurant setting."
"The school board has been very supportive with the budget for this program" according to David Edwards with Smithville ISD. "We hope to open [the bistro] to the community eventually." Rebekah plans "to enter competitions with other Culinary programs across the region and state to help the students hone their cooking skills."
The students really enjoy working together to prepare the meals; they even get to wear professional chef coats while they are working in the class. "The Smithville Culinary program is similar to other Culinary programs across the state in cooking meals for teachers and staff and learning the ins and outs of customer service. All of the food is prepared by the students and not heat-and-serve meals." explains Rebekah.