Culinary Arts students attend ProStart symposium

A handful of CTE Culinary Arts students had a great day Wednesday. Here's the report from Instructor Heidi Rocha.

Yesterday, (Paraeducator) Tara Dutcher and I brought four students to the ProStart Student Symposium in Canton, MI at Sysco headquarters. This was provided by the Michigan Restaurant Association. Lydia Gervase (HHS senior), Harley Hakes (HHS senior) and Jimmy Forbes (BHS senior) all participated in the culinary portion. Gary Vanblarcom (FHS junior) participated in the management and marketing portion. The culinary students worked in groups with mentors and created a three-course meal using mystery basket items (salmon, Brussels sprouts, wild rice, whole chicken and butternut squash). The culinary students had to fabricate the chicken or fillet the fish, as well.

Management and marketing students worked with mentors on a marketing presentation to the entire room (100-plus people). Gary's group designed a restaurant concept and presented their menu ideas for "Noodle Nation." Tara and I attended teacher workshops through most of the time students were with the mentors. Here were the student and mentor objectives:

Anticipated STUDENT outcome:

Students receive time with industry expert and mentor

Students will have an opportunity to build on their classroom and textbook knowledge of front and back of house demands and opportunities

Students will be engaged in critical thinking and problem solving skill development

Student will have an opportunity to think like an entrepreneur

Students will benefit from networking with future employers

Students will perform at a college level

Anticipated INDUSTRY MENTOR outcome:

Industry mentors receive a first-hand experience of the skill sets developed through ProStart

Industry mentors will have an opportunity to share their knowledge and experience

Industry mentors will have the opportunity to meet future employees and set benchmarks for their current staff

Industry mentors will have the opportunity to network with other industry professionals

Industry mentors will have the opportunity to teach and mentor in a full service training kitchen