Students hone cooking skills to open opportunities

Houston Secondary School students and staff are feasting on an array of professionally-prepared, six-course meals.

Instructor Avi Sternberg and six professional cook students show off their handiwork. Nine students are enrolled in the Professional Cook level one course. Six of the students are from Houston

Houston Secondary School students and staff are feasting on an array of professionally-prepared, six-course meals.

Nine professional cook students prepare the HSS lunch buffets every morning as part of their hands-on training.

Instructor Avi Sternberg says the morning replicates a restaurant kitchen atmosphere, with each pair of students preparing one section of the meal.

HSS Principal Scott Jackson says lunches have been amazing.

There is “a wide range of menu choices and it is always high-end. It has not been great for my waistline, but I am eating there several times each week,” Jackson said.

As an ACE-IT program, the course enrols five high school students and four adults.

It is run in the HSS kitchen and takes 28 solid weeks.

Students spend their first hour doing classroom theory about food safe, handling food and preparing various dishes.

After that, they hit the kitchen to prepare the lunch buffet.

Every Friday, students tackle an online exam about the theory they learned that week.

Adult student Dot Middleton is a stay-at-home Mom and says taking the course is a great learning experience.

“I like trying different recipes that I haven’t made before,” she said.

“My family seems to enjoy it.”

Adult student Angela Ettinger is a previous employee of Houston Forest Products, which closed down May 2014.

“After the shutdown I wanted a change in career so I decided to take this,” Ettinger said.

She enjoys learning how cook more complex foods.

“We are preparing foods that I haven’t really tried or even know what they are,” she said.

“It’s pretty interesting.”

Instructor Sternberg says students catered the local Science Fair, a dinner with the Lieutenant Governor of B.C., and a lunch with the Minister of Education at HSS.

They also toured the Sausage Factory, Ambrosia Sheep Farm and W. Diamond Ranch in Telkwa.

“These catering opportunities, as well as touring the organic food places, allows the students to be exposed to different parts of the industry,” said Sternberg.

“By catering, they actually get a live-action sense of timing and a sense of interaction with people outside of the classroom.”

After the course, students are qualified to become apprentices in the industry or they can go on to take the level two course.

Sternberg says most students end up working at restaurants or become camp cooks.

Grade 11 high school student Myles Kendall said he took the course because it opens opportunities.

“I know that everywhere in the world they are really looking for cooks,” he said.

“I think this is the easiest way to get out and travel.”

Kendall says the course taught him new baking and cooking techniques and also how to be ready and on top of things.

Sternberg says one thing he enjoys about teaching is learning from his students.

“Students are the best form of education for yourself,” Sternberg said.

“They really challenge you to ask questions.”

But the most rewarding part of teaching for Sternberg is seeing students grow.

The reward is “watching the growth of the student, not just with cooking skills and knowledge, but life skills like coming to class on time, human interaction and communication skills,” he said.

“It prepares them for real life.”

 

Just Posted

Coastal GasLink gets interim injunction against Unist’ot’en

The LNG pipeline company can start work Monday with enforcement approved by court.

B.C’s salmon advisory council skips Terrace

Public engagement tour excludes all non-coastal communities

Great kids doing great things for Houston

Members of the Houston Minor Hockey and the Houston Ringette canvassed the… Continue reading

Owners of mining project south of Houston allowed to drill again

New Nadina’s free miners certificate had been suspended in September

Council seeks to replace By-Mac Park’s boat launch

The boat launch is currently unusable; district has received several complaints

REPLAY: B.C’s best video this week

In case you missed it, here’s a look at the replay-worth highlights from this week across the province

Canucks score 3 power-play goals in 4-2 win over Oilers

Vancouver sniper Boeser has 6 goals in last 5 games

Microscopic parasite found in Prince Rupert water affecting thousands

More than 12,000 residents affected by the boil water advisory issued Dec. 14

Trudeau lashes out at Conservatives over migration “misinformation”

Warning against the “dangers of populism,” Trudeau says using immigration as a wedge political issue puts Canada’s future at risk.

B.C. hockey coach creates ‘gear library’ to remove cost barrier of sport

Todd Hickling gathered donations and used gear to remove the cost barrier for kids to play hockey.

Canada’s ambassador meets with second detainee in China

Global Affairs says John McCallum, Canada’s ambassador to China, met with Spavor Sunday

‘They’re coming:’ Flying cars may appear in urban skies by 2023

Air taxis will number 15,000 and become a global market worth $32 billion by 2035

B.C. VIEWS: Andrew Wilkinson on taxes, ICBC and union changes

Opposition leader sees unpredictable year ahead in 2019

5 tips for self-care, mental wellness this holiday season

Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions urging British Columbians to prioritize self care through festive season

Most Read