From trash to treasure

Culinary department receives approval for food truck

Culinary+arts+instructor+Cory+House+stands+in+the+back+of+the+old+TigerVision+ambulance+showing+his+excitement+about+the+opportunity+to+turn+the+ambulance+into+a+food+truck.+TigerVision+received+a+new+ambulance%2C+and+the+culinary+department+hopes++++to+raise+%2410%2C000+to+convert+it+to+a+food+truck.++

Culinary arts instructor Cory House stands in the back of the old TigerVision ambulance showing his excitement about the opportunity to turn the ambulance into a food truck. TigerVision received a new ambulance, and the culinary department hopes to raise $10,000 to convert it to a food truck.

Story by TJ Wall, sports editor

The head of the culinary arts department, Cory House, has received approval to transform the old TigerVision truck into a food truck. TigerVision obtained an ambulance that they are in the process of remodeling in order to make it suitable for its purpose— a mobile production vehicle.

“[TigerVision is] going to be doing some really cool things with [their new ambulance] that they weren’t able to do with their old one,” House said. “What we’ll have to do is go in after [Charles] Aldridge, move everything out of it and then start working on building it to food code.”

House devised plans for the truck long before the project was approved. He envisions taking the truck, putting the culinary department’s logo on the side and making it a “classroom on wheels.”

Students will be able to manage it, design menus and sell the items in order to see how their ideas will play out in the real world.”

— TJ Wall

“This way, they’re dealing with real customers, not a constraint catering setting where everything’s already set up and the customer knows what to expect,” House said. “Now we can do a variety of things from selling tacos, burgers, barbecue, I mean everything under the sun, because it’s going to be an extension of our classroom.”

Ninety percent of the food that is sold will be prepared in the culinary classroom rather than inside the truck. With their additional equipment, students will be able to keep the cooked food hot and ready to go. House believes this project will give students additional opportunities to apply what they learn in class.

“Whether it be assembling tacos, assembling burgers, melting cheese on top of things, toasting tortillas, toasting buns, [it’s] really giving our students a lot more interactive experience with customers,” House said. “It’s a just a great way to showcase the awesome things that we have going on here at Texas High School.”

House hopes to utilize this new truck to give his students the opportunity to showcase their talents all over Texarkana.

“I’m going to set up anywhere that I possibly can to showcase the great students that we have,” House said. “Hopefully one day in the future, we’re able to showcase our students here on campus at sporting events such as Dash 4 Cash to showcase the great things that we have going on here [and to show] that our students have ample opportunity to be part of something that they’re very interested in.”

The food truck is not technically a part of the culinary class because its funds must come from club money.

“The club has to fund that and so club money will go to purchasing the food to be sold and that money will go back into our club to continue to support the food truck and culinary in those endeavors like that,” House said.

It will cost around $10,000 to do what House has envisioned for the food truck. This includes extra equipment, doing a vinyl wrap and modifications to adjust the height of the truck. However, the price of this project may not cost as much as originally expected because House has received offers from people who are willing to donate services needed to remodel the truck. The welding department at Texarkana College has said that they would donate the labor of welding as long as House provided the necessary materials.

“Having community support just makes it that much more fun for the community whenever they see it and see our students,” House said. “So far, we have community support. [We] had a couple of people that have mentioned that they were willing to help out, but nothing official yet, so pretty, pretty exciting.”

Culinary students are also excited about the opportunity this new food truck will bring.

“I know that the food truck has been one of Mr. House’s main goals, and I’m excited that we’ll actually get to do it this year,” senior Aniyah Azille said. “I believe the food truck is going to be an amazing opportunity to not only extend the culinary arts program, but for people to see what the culinary arts program offers and how it allows us to just branch out more.”

House’s goal for the food truck is to provide students with a more realistic view of customer expectations, customer service and to be able to showcase his students’ capabilities and talents.

“I’m a shoot-for-the-stars kind of guy, I want to be the best, and this is another way of showcasing that we have great things going on and we’re striving to be the best,” House said. “So really, my main goal out of this is to serve my students and give my students an opportunity to shine.”