DAVENPORT, Iowa (KWQC) — Davenport Community School District’s (DCSD) CTE Pathway Culinary Arts and Restaurant Management program helps students improve their culinary skills and learn about the restaurant industry.
“This course really gives our students a competitive edge,” DCSD Culinary Arts Instructor Jenee Cross told ProStart. “It’s about 50% culinary skills, 50% restaurant skills. Hands-on culinary work goes well with cost, communication, skills that people would need not only to cook in the kitchen but also to run a restaurant and make a profit and make a business out of it.
Students earn college credit throughout the course.
“A lot of our curriculum is the basic food preparation curriculum offered at community colleges in eastern Iowa, but when we compete, it’s really student-focused,” Cross said. . “They take the foundation that they build on and then really create it to their own personality, their own taste.”
Isabelle Critten, senior, said the program helped her land a culinary job.
“We needed to get certified in ServSafe, which you need at least one person every shift in a restaurant with ServSafe certification, so that helped me get my job in the first place, and the way they found me was through ProStart,” Critten said. “We have all the basic information on how to prepare certain things and also how to portion, cost things on a menu. management and how to work in the restaurant management part.”
Cross said it’s been great to see her students become more confident in the kitchen.
“First they hesitate, ask a lot of questions, then when they get into it, they can take off on their own,” Cross said. “I love when they put their own spin on it and then see the creativity when the students take what you kind of gave them and then they take it in a whole different direction. It’s quite impressive to see.
Students must be juniors or seniors and take basic nutrition courses in DCSD high school programs.
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