Culinary Arts students play it safe

Photo by Natalie Banks

Story by Natalie Banks

Those who can’t stand the heat need to stay out of the kitchen, especially students in the Culinary Arts program.

First year culinary students may have thought that they would jump right into the kitchen for cooking, but they had to go through a training program to learn how to use the equipment properly first. They have to be ServSafe certified before they can use any equipment.

“Being ServSafe is knowing how to keep food safe while you’re cooking,” senior Brittany Wright said. “I’m in culinary arts because I want to learn how to cook well and make gourmet food.”

During the eight-week training in the ServSafe book, students learned the correct temperatures for certain foods like chicken, beef and fish. Students also learned the correct way to heat, cool and reheat food.

“I thought it was kind of boring just doing book work all the time,” Wright said, “but now that I know how everything works, I’m excited to start cooking and working in the kitchen.”

Culinary students took the ServSafe exam to put their knowledge to the test in October. For some, the end result was exactly what they expected.

“I felt lucky that I passed,” Latham said, “I didn’t really study. I just payed attention in class.”

Now, culinary students are putting their knowledge to the test, with both a practice test on knife skills and practice preparation of stocks and soups.

“We just finished cutting potatoes to practice our knife skills,” Wright said. “Now we’re beginning to make stocks and soups. I’m excited to start making real food like beef wellington and strawberry crepes.”