A dash of this. A pinch of that. Students at Woodstock Academy have a recipe for success in their cooking class – and it’s much different than your typical home economics classroom.
In fact, it could be the kitchen in your favorite restaurant.
“70% of all people will work in food service at some point," teacher Deb Bigelow said.
Therefore, she not only pushed for commercial equipment in her classroom, but she also whipped up lesson plans with a working restaurant in mind – “real job skills that they can translate into the real world,” she said.
The ultimate goal is to create a working restaurant at the school, both to feed and cross train students in other subjects.
“There’s a synergy we’re creating with this program and the business department where restaurant management is such a huge focus,” Christopher Sandford, the school’s headmaster, said.
The class is broken up into groups that would exist in a commercial kitchen – from vegetable peelers to dishwashers and everything in between. Students create menus based off of research on what customers are eating these days, all while balancing cost and nutrition.
It’s perfect training for Erin Bagdoian, who wants to study culinary arts after high school.
“It's awesome having a block of the day where I can devote myself to what I want to be doing ahead of time before I get into that world,” she said.
Even though Sarah Haberbosch wants to be a dermatologist, she said the team building in the class is invaluable.
“You work as a group and you each have different jobs to do so you all come together in the end and you're like wow, that really came out fantastic,” she proclaimed.