The Culinary program has been designed to provide practical hands-on experiences to prepare students for careers in the food service industry. Culinary Arts I covers the history of the food service industry; safety in the workplace; employability skills; leadership/teamwork skills; care and use of commercial culinary equipment; basic food science; basic nutrition; and following recipes in food preparation labs.
Students then learn front-of-the house and back-of-the-house duties in Culinary Arts II. During this course they also prepare quality food products and present them creatively; demonstrate safe, sanitary work procedures, understand food science principles related to cooking and baking; and utilize nutrition concepts when planning meals/menus.
Students then specialize with higher-level courses during their junior and senior years. In Culinary Arts III the student will research career opportunities in professional cooking/baking; follow guidelines on food selection, purchasing, and storage; and use communication skills. Students will prepare and present a variety of advanced food products; create centerpieces; and research laws specific to the hospitality industry (including handling of alcohol). Also covered are management skills; how to develop a business plan; and utilization of technology in the workplace. Students will be knowledgeable about food safety manager training programs that are acceptable in Florida. Finally, in Culinary Arts IV, students will prepare various meals and food products including those for individuals with various nutritional needs and/or dietary restrictions. The relationship between nutrition and wellness will be examined. Cost control techniques and profitability will be covered as well as analysis of food establishment menus. Students will also demonstrate basic financial literacy skills and earn SERVSAFE industry certification.
Students’ activities may include:
- Culinary Internships in areas of interest, providing real world insight into the industry
- Catering performed for visiting officials and dignitaries, as well as off campus catering opportunities
- Culinary competitions with other schools
- A chance to join the National Technical Honor Society and Family, Career and Community Leaders of America
- Freshman Student Mentoring Program
- Gator Bites Cafe
These experiences are invaluable in preparing students for post-secondary schools and success in the world of business