Students in the culinary arts program at the Gerald R. Claps Career and Technical Center recently began learning about the importance of knowing where their food comes from. While the weather is still warm, new instructor Chef Lauren Reganato and her students have visited the Levittown Memorial Education Center's green house to learn more about growing their own fruits and vegetables while incorporating the garden into their unit about different herbs.
With communities becoming more mindful of food sources, it has become more important for future chefs to know and understand all they can about the ingredients used in recipes. In class, students have plated lettuce seeds and pulled weeds. They also recently prepared a luncheon where they cut Swiss chard, clipped herbs and picked eggplants and peppers.
"Even if we go out for ten minutes, they really love the space," said chef Reganato. "They have mentioned how nice it is to get fresh air and they love the gratification of pulling the weeds!"
Throughout the school year, students that are enrolled in the two-year culinary arts course at the Gerald R. Claps Career and Technical Center learn the fundamentals of cooking, baking and wait staff/hospitality. There is also a focus on culinary menu planning, food science and health and safety procedures. Furthering their knowledge of the hospitality industry, the program has implemented an iPad Point of Sale System where students learn employment ready skills for wait staff/hospitality service. The students practice skills on a daily basis in the school's modern commercial kitchen/bakery and can earn the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation's five-year ServSafe certification.