Students in Introduction to Culinary and Hospitality after serving the Sectional lunch. Photo courtesy WRV Principal Doug Lewis.
It is in the Indiana Department of Education standards for Introduction to Culinary and Hospitality, “Demonstrate basic table service techniques, including table setting, serving and removing food and beverage items and demonstrate ability to communicate effectively with customers and co-workers.” This week, White River Valley students successfully fulfilled that standard.
A few weeks ago, students in Introduction to Culinary and Hospitality were asked to cater two events back-to-back. There was a Sectional meeting on Wednesday and an ROI committee meeting on Thursday. Students worked together to brainstorm menus and formulate a plan to ensure two delightful lunches.
We worked all week this week preparing the dishes to be served. On Monday we prepared the lasagna for the ROI lunch and froze it to ensure quality.
On Tuesday, we began the two-day process of preparing the honey-wheat yeast rolls. We also sectioned the chicken quarters into legs and thighs while other students prepared the ingredients for the salad. All of this was done for the Sectional meeting.
Wednesday was a big day and many classes assisted in creating the lunch for the Sectional meeting. Second period, which has two students from Introduction to Culinary and Hospitality, completed the process in making the honey-wheat yeast rolls. They also set up the standard breading procedure and helped start preparing the green beans.
Third-period students, Advanced Nutrition and Wellness, were really excited to help make the fried chicken. They are hard workers and had all the chicken fried and in the oven before the class period was over while also completing their cooking lab that had run over from the previous day.
Homeroom students also played a vital role by assisting in room clean-up and set-up.
Then Introduction to Culinary and Hospitality students had the important task of serving the meal. With jazz music playing in the background, they began by offering tea or lemonade, then delivered the salads. After salads were finished, salad bowls were removed and replaced with dinner plates full of fried chicken, green beans and a honey-wheat yeast roll.
Then students removed the dinner plate and replaced it with dessert, warm apple pie a la mode. Students were recognized and then went on to enjoy their own lunch in the cafeteria.
Thursday we were back at it for the ROI committee meeting lunch. The lasagnas were baked and when Introduction to Culinary and Hospitality students came to class, they baked the bread sticks and prepared the salads.
This time, we hosted the lunch in the Family and Consumer Science kitchens, so students could discuss their experiences in the program and talk about the new equipment recently obtained through the Perkins grant. We had Italian music playing in the background to match our menu.
Catering really gets students out of their comfort zone and it is multiplied by ten when the guests are right in the center of where the work is happening. Although they were apprehensive and did not think they could do it, in the end the students worked together and had fun preparing and serving each lunch.
These events are what I live for as a FACS teacher. Catering gives students so many opportunities to think creatively, solve problems, work as a team and overcome their insecurities. I am so excited to get to work with students and so proud of what they accomplished. Each lunch was well received and in the end students were happy with their efforts.
Betsy Misner has been the Family and Consumer Science, formerly Home Economics, teacher at White River Valley for over a decade. Her motivation is helping students to strive for strong, happy, healthy families and providing career pathways. Check out more of what is happening in the classroom by following her on Twitter: WRVFACS@BetsyMisner