by: Molly Bowers
New this year at Wethersfield High is the Culinary Arts class, and it is unlike any of the other cooking and nutrition class the school offers. This class is for students that have completed both Nutrition Ⅰ and Ⅱ, but instead of simply just cooking in this class, it focuses more on the hospitality and business side of the cooking industry.
This new elective addition is taught by Andrea Leuschner, who has been teaching nutrition at the high school for 5 years. She studied fashion and merchandising at West Virginia University and then went on to work in the garment industry for more than 20 years, then working in every facet of the restaurant industry prior to teaching at WHS.
The Culinary Arts class is only open to students that have completed both Nutrition Ⅰ and Ⅱ. This class will last the entire year and is centered around the business and preparation behind cooking. The itinerary for the class this year starts with selling ready-to-bake and pre-prepared treats to the staff around Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. With the prolonged class, the students will have the opportunity to get a glimpse into the hustle and bustle of the cooking industry with possible field trips to test kitchens, but also the less glamorized portion of the industry. Like planning, budgeting, and even creating a logo.
With the class being a full year class instead of a one-semester course, there is a lot more time for the class to go through more content and complete more intensive projects. Leuschner said, “There are so many things I want students to learn in the class, but I think the main thing is to develop confidence in their culinary techniques so that students are able to make a variety of food for themselves and their family. Learning how to cook requires so many skills; problem solving, math, science, reading and creativity.”
Leuschner has a number of things planned for the students and class. Starting with fundraisers, and teaching the students the basics of food business and menu planning; Then around March there are plans for the class to run a mock restaurant within the nutrition room, to help the student practice and learn the different aspects and roles within a restaurant.
Want to try out the culinary creations at WHS? Click the following link to order apple crisp or pumpkin pie for the upcoming holidays!
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