Cooking in Class at New Britain High School - NBC Connecticut

Cooking in Class at New Britain High School



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    At New Britian High School, students learn a lot more than just math, science and English.  They're also getting prepped for a profession in food service.  On this day, a group of students is meeting after school.  They have exactly one hour to make a three-course meal.

    "I enjoy it a lot.  It's actually a lot of fun.  We're doing in my class right now, we're doing an iron chef challenge right now," said Senior, Anu Sogunro.

    "I make the main dish which is a pork tenderloin with shallot mashed potatoes,” said Junior, Dorothy Turka.

    "What they're making is fancy food.  It's beautiful to the eye, it's very pleasing to the pallet," explains teacher, Nann Thomson.

    These students are enrolled in the school's pro start cooking curriculum. 

    It's a two-year program that teaches culinary skills and food service management.

    "They're learning how to cost out materials.  They're learning how to change recipes.  They're learning a great deal of safer and sanitation in the kitchen," said Thomson.

    This is the fourth year of pro start in New Britain. Students usually begin taking courses junior year.

    In addition to class time during school hours, this group is taking it a step further.  They are members of pro start's culinary competition team.  It requires meeting ten hours a week after school.

    "If one thing goes wrong it throw off everything else so you have to really work well together as a team and know everybody else is doing at any given point in time," said Sogunro.

    But most importantly, this program gives students a head start on a profession.

    "If you look at the stats for restaurant and food service workers a great many people work in the industry at some point in their lives whether it's just to get through college or a part time job just to pay bills.  So, a lot of people are going to be working in that industry," said Thomson.

    "I love it because it's not only something I would love to do on my free time, I would like to do it when I get older after college,” said Turka.

    New Britain’s pro start teams recently finished first at a state competition.  Now, they’re heading to nationals in San Diego later this month.