The Culinary Arts program introduces students to food preparation, safety and sanitation, menu planning and nutrition and encompasses varied aspects of the restaurant business. Students learn fundamental preparation terms, concepts and methods in Culinary Arts using a hands-on approach in a commercial kitchen. They are introduced to various cuisines that include different flavor profiles representing numerous cultures and regions as well as their history. Students explore their interest in Culinary Arts for a possible career option or solely to enjoy learning professional techniques in the kitchen.
Students have an opportunity to obtain the ServSafe certification. ServSafe is a food and beverage safety training and certificate program administered by the National Restaurant Association. The program is accredited by ANSI and the Conference for Food Protection.
Past and Current Projects
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- Week 1: lesson 1, Breakfast foods. Challah bread french toast encrusted with cereal topped with fresh blueberries, strawberries, figs and raspberries. Drizzled with a homemade blueberry and homemade strawberry syrup
Week 3: lesson 3, Cajun eggs Benedict, bacon wrapped jalapenos stuffed with a beef cream cheese mixture cooked low and slow, homemade buttermilk biscuits, topped with pan seared andouille sausage and a poached egg smothered in a homemade sausage gravy.
- Week 4: Knife skills. Students learned various ways to cut vegetables and herbs. Students also learned about knife safety and how to maintain an edge and hold a knife correctly. The lesson also included a demonstration of how to break down a whole chicken. We used the cut carrots, celery, onion and garlic along with freshly minced rosemary, thyme, lemon zest and juice to create a stock. The photo shows the finished product, a delicious chicken orzo soup.
- Week 5: Hispanic food in honor of National Hispanic Heritage month. This photo shows two different types of empanadas. The first empanada is filled with a beef mixture containing ground beef, onions, garlic, minced green olives and tomato paste. The second empanada is filled with a shredded chicken mixture containing shredded seasoned chicken, minced jalapenos, green onions, cream cheese and shredded cheese. Both empanadas were fried to golden perfection. To compliment the empanadas, we made rice and beans using annatto oil and pigeon peas. Also served with crisp flour tortilla chips topped with a fresh mango and pineapple salsa containing diced red peppers, jalapenos, cilantro and lime juice mixed together.
- Week 6: lesson 1, German food in honor of Oktoberfest. Freshly made soft pretzels. The varieties include traditional salt, plain and cinnamon sugar. Students made a cheese sauce for dipping. The cheese sauce contains shredded cheddar and pepper jack cheeses, milk, liquid smoke, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder and salt. For an additional side dish the students prepared Spaetzle. Spaetzle is a German style egg noodle. The Spaetzle was sauteed in butter, garlic, rosemary and thyme until the edges were crispy brown.
Week 7: lesson 2, Students prepared Hänchen-Schnitzel which is a German style chicken cutlet. Chicken breast that was split in half and pounded out very thin and breaded in a breading station. We taught the importance of having one wet hand and one dry hand. The Schnitzel was pan fried to a perfect golden brown. Also shown is Potato au gratin. This is thin cut potatoes mixed with a cheese sauce baked in the oven until lovely and stringy. The second side dish is homemade Sauerkraut. Sauteed cabbage until it started wilting then we added apple cider vinegar, ground mustard, salt and brown sugar. We reduced the liquid for the perfect sauerkraut dish.
Week 8: lesson 3, We also made homemade Apple Strudel as well as Bratwursts with onions. Our apple strudel is made with puff pastry, filled with a cream cheese filling containing cream cheese, brown sugar and vanilla extract. Topped with an apple mixture consisting of diced Granny Smith apples, sugar, cinnamon, raisins, orange zest and orange juice. We braided our strudel and baked our strudel until a lovely golden brown. Not included in our photo is our bratwurst which is a veal and pork sausage. We sauteed our onions in butter then pan seared our bratwurst to give it some color.