SHS Culinary Arts students have been busy. Before the Thanksgiving break, they used their new cooking skills to create an appreciation luncheon for teachers and staff. Five of Mrs. Goertz’ classes worked to make the event happen from pre-planning to cooking to waitressing to clean up.
According to Mrs. Goertz, the Culinary Arts teacher, the high school has always had a home economics program, but it has evolved into much more – a job training program which is all inclusive, learning the front of the restaurant as well as the back.
“We’re making sure that the students learn skills to get entry level jobs, at least, when they graduate,” said Goertz. “They will use these skills with their family but it could become a career or pay their way through college or another vocation.”
In the class the students first learn safety for themselves and how to avoid or mitigate common accidents in a kitchen or restaurant. They also learn sanitation and food safety, such as proper temperatures to cook and store food and the safety factor in having food on a buffet line, and they touch on OSHA regulations. With this foundation the students have a start on qualifying for certification, said Mrs. Goertz.
Students can also create a menu and cost out recipes in order to make a profit.
As they cook, they also learn about nutrition and eating properly.
“The first part of the class has been about the foundation,” said Mrs. Goertz. “Now we’re diving into cooking styles more.”
Students enjoy the course with “cooking” as their favorite part, and “eating” running a close second.
“I like it because it’s fun,” said student Nanci Romero. “You get to learn to do different stuff – not like instant macaroni.”
“I don’t want to become a chef, but I do want to learn how to cook,” said student Jacob Humphrey, in order to take care of himself.
The consensus of the luncheon guests was that the food “was really good.” The plates came back empty. That’s the highest compliment of all.