How the Culinary Program is Running

How+the+Culinary+Program+is+Running

By Hannah Cohen, Staff Writer

The Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management Program is where students are able to learn the skills of food preparation, cooking, baking, and managing. This four-year program gives you the real-world experience of working in a kitchen and a restaurant. Due to Covid, both the teachers and students have had to manage virtual learning, trying to obtain that same in-person experience. As a culinary student myself, I can say it has been difficult as it is definitely not the same, but the staff is handling it very well. The students are given labs as they would in the kitchen, but the assignment is to record themselves preparing the food. 

I had the great pleasure of speaking with Chef Lee, one of the culinary instructors, to see how the program is doing under these circumstances.

Starting off, the main challenge faced teaching virtually, by really any teacher, is the one-on-one experience, being able to observe the students, is what is missing. “You can’t just say, do this, add more of that…”. That being said, the teachers had to readjust because some students may have multiple siblings or even parents working at home all at once. 

The Five Star Cafe, a part of the program where students cook and serve for parents and staff, has been closed since March. Culinary is a Career and Technical Education Program, where the students are required to obtain a career-like experience. There is a bright future ahead for the reopening of the Five Star, as soon as it is safe and hopefully sooner than later. 

Now bringing us to the perspective of the students; while learning independently, only attending the Google Meet is not enough. They have to put their passion and hard work into the assignments to truly be successful and get the most out of the program. Chef Lee recommends practicing as much as students can outside of school, doing things such as helping your family make dinner, learning to bake your favorite treat, or even working in a kitchen or restaurant environment. “They need to do more of the heavy lifting…there may be other culinary schools opened, making the competition greater.” 

There has definitely been a lot of readjusting with this year of change for both the students and teachers while virtual learning. There is a missing part in 2020: in-person interactions, the most important factor.