By Divya Putty
The school has several thriving programs and activities, one of which is the culinary arts program, a bustling arena of innovation.
Taught by Chef Arturo Luna, the program includes beginning and advanced classes where all students learn much more than the basics of cooking. The introductory class starts with a unit on safe sanitation and ends with a final in which each student must cook a meal including protein, starch, vegetables, and sauce.
During the first three months of class, students watch videos that introduce them to the course. Cooking begins with lessons in knife techniques to get the skill down in order to prevent accidents.
Luna has two objectives for his classes: teaching students how to cook and making students employable. His students cook about three times a week and work on math assignments, regarding measurements, during the other days.
An example of an introductory meal in the beginning class would be spaghetti. On the other hand, an introductory meal in the advanced class would be pastries since the cooking process is more complicated.
Throughout the course, students learn about variety in cooking. By the end of the year, they are able to cook sauces, soups, breads, meats, fruits, and vegetables.
Luna also teaches his students about many cultures and their foods because he considers it important to travel to several countries to experience different foods.
“Travel, taste different foods, respect everybody’s culture, have fun, smile a lot, get out of your comfort zone, try a variety of foods, have friends, go out, learn different languages, read a lot of books, and write a journal, ” Luna advises.
During the journey to learn how to cook grand meals, Luna exposes his students to several cooking opportunities to become more experienced chefs. Fieldtrips to various restaurants show them what cooking is like in a professional environment and give them the chance to meet chefs in the industry.
On occasion, Luna will invite chefs to speak to his students or judge their work when they cook complicated meals. They judge the students on aspects such as cleanliness, efficiency, and the finished meal. Luna and his associates try each student’s dish. He hopes that his students will create something great after all he has taught them.
“You can eat something good, but when you eat something great, you establish a memory,” Luna said.