In most classrooms across the country, students give presentations. Book reports, tri-fold boards and PowerPoint presentations are the norm. However, when students in the Second Harvest Culinary Training Program give a project report, they head to Aggressive Appliances. Here they have the opportunity to showcase the skills they have mastered to create a cohesive menu while also expanding their knowledge of both household and commercial appliances.
Chef instructors and students agree on the menu items ahead of time. On a recent visit, Eastern European cuisine was on the menu, including Chicken Paprika, Warm Potato Salad, Weiner Schnitzel, Mixed Greens and Apricot Trifle.
For the students, this is like a progress report; a time to demonstrate to their instructors what they have learned.
“It is rewarding to see the students personal and professional growth, from being timid to now taking charge,” Chef Instructor Israel Santiago said. “They have to be done on time, they have to clean as they go, they multitask, and at the same time remember safety and sanitation, remember the basics and not forget who you are or where you come from. That is key.”
In addition to hosting students in their working showroom each month, Aggressive Appliances has donated chef tables, knives and other items to the Culinary Training Program to help students get familiar with the tools found in a commercial kitchen. Chef Santiago says it is community partnerships like these that make the Culinary Training Program unique.
“You can’t forget who’s helping you,” Chef says. “We can’t walk in the kitchen and do this without our partners.”
To learn more about how your company or organization can get involved with the Culinary Training Program, please contact Idalia Nunez, Life Skills Education Manager, at 407-514-1037 or email [email protected].