Skilled to Work: Culinary Arts Academy, trains future restaurateurs | Community events
Something is brewing in Decatur!
In this week’s Skilled to Work, we head to Decatur’s Career Academies.
The instructors train the restaurateurs of tomorrow.
“Right now we’re learning about the five mother sauces,” said Kaitlyn Brooks, a 10th grader at the Culinary Arts Academy.
The kitchen is more like Brooks’ classroom.
“It taught me more about routines and more about the ins and outs and secrets of the cooking industry,” said Joshua Hernandez Blanco, a 10th grader in the culinary arts program.
For Hernandez Blanco, he found his passion for cooking growing up.
“I just wanted to find a more professional level,” said Hernandez Blanco.
He is taking the course to see if his love for cooking could turn into a career in culinary arts or hospitality.
“I learned more about the business side,” Hernandez Blanco said. “I can just serve people better and get better in the kitchen.”
Instructor Darrell Echols said classes first take place in a typical classroom setting.
“We talk about safety and hygiene, how to load the fridge, how to wash the dishes, how to wash your hands,” Echols said.
After classroom instruction comes the laboratory. This is where the students put on their hats and coats, go to the kitchen and get their hands dirty.
“We run the gamut, so we’ll talk about everything from a backyard barbecue to a gala, or a wedding reception, different cultures, so it’s actually a culinary school,” Echols said.
Echols said the program recreates real-world scenarios.
“In CareerTech, what we call a simulated workplace,” Echols said. “Students get different titles or different jobs.”
After four years, students can step out of the kitchen with a ServSafe certification from the National Restaurant Association. Such certification makes them more marketable to future employers.
On March 6, five students will travel to Orange Beach, AL for a 3-course meal contest against other schools in the state.
Learn more about the program, here.