Imagine being able to whip up your favourite recipes in a state-of-the-art kitchen. That is what students in the Specialist High Skills Major–Hospitality can do at Bishop Smith Catholic High School (BSCHS).
Specially designed renovations to modernize the classroom last fall mean students are working in an industrial-style facility. The improvements include bright new lighting and an upgrade to all stainless steel equipment. The class also boasts a dining room where students can practice their serving skills.
“Students really appreciate the openness of the room and the new equipment that makes it similar to a restaurant experience,” says Teacher Jill Plazek.
Partnerships forged in the community also provide students with an opportunity to participate in “reach-ahead” experiences, visiting and preparing food in local restaurant kitchens, and at Algonquin College in Pembroke.
Over the course of the program, students learn the basics of meal planning and food preparation, making (and eating) selected recipes. For example, after watching Season 1 of popular Chef Jamie Oliver’s show featuring the current healthy eating trend, students prepared one of his healthy food recipes. They go a step further, creating their own restaurants and menus on paper.
For students with a competitive nature, the course provides opportunities to participate in cooking, baking, and cake decorating contests at Algonquin College’s Ottawa campus and the annual Options Skilled Trades Fair in Pembroke.
A highlight of each semester is BSCHS’s annual Art and Technology show. The SHSM–Hospitality students play a large role in the event, preparing and serving hot and cold appetizers and desserts to guests while dressed in formal black and white chef’s attire.
“The course provides students with valuable life skills, but it can also help to prepare them for a post-secondary job in the expanding hospitality industry, or even a career in the culinary arts,” concludes Plazek.
For further information, please contact:
Michele Arbour, Director of Education
Renfrew County Catholic District School Board
499 Pembroke Street West
Pembroke, ON K8A 5P1
Phone: 613-735-1031 or 1-800-267-0191