Can you cook it?

Culinary program gives taste of learning about cooking

Culinary students, Abigail Cottingham and Sophia Hanson, juniors, separate and prep the ingredients that are necessary for their dish. They get the recipes from their instructor and learn the basic skills needed to prepare it. They not only spend time in the kitchen cooking, but they also learn the business and management skills needed to not only succeed in the culinary world, but also in the business world.

Emma Collins, Reporter

Students that have a taste for learning something new about cooking would be interested in the Culinary program at Olathe North High School.

The culinary program provides students with information on the best methods to use when cooking while practicing different culinary methods along with learning how to perfect certain recipes.

It allows for students from each Olathe school to get a taste of what it would be like to be a chef while the students learn all about cooking.

The program is a two-year program offered to juniors and seniors only. The first year of culinary focuses on learning new techniques and expanding the student’s knowledge with new recipes while the second year teaches students how to manage a business.

Mike Chrostowski, culinary teacher, teaches both years of culinary students while Philip Shaw, culinary teacher, teaches the first year students’ in the morning classes. Linda Couch is the head director of the program and helps out with all of the students.

“The most challenging thing about the program is having to come up with side dishes,” Abigail Cottingham, junior, said. “The chefs are always looking for ways you can improve on something, even if it’s the side dishes.”

One of Cottingham’s best dishes she’s made in the program  is potato and leek soup. She came up with idea after some of the other students came together and contributed ideas.

The teachers provide the students with any information to help them improve on their skills and their cooking.

“I enjoy how the chef pushes you to be creative in the dish that you’re making,” Abigail Laferte, junior, said.

Laferte’s best dish she has ever made is tomato basil soup.

Throughout the year, the culinary students participate in a small restaurant at Olathe North.

The students are responsible for everything that would happen in a normal restaurant. Under the supervision of the chefs, the restaurant lets the students see what it would be like to someday work in a restaurant.

“I want to open my own bakery, so I thought I would give culinary a try. It really helped with teaching me how to get everything done in a certain amount of time,” Cottingham said.

The program helps students prepare for a career in cooking and/or managing a business by teaching students the basic skills, at first, then going more in depth throughout the year.

“People should join the program because once you start cooking, you’ll know if you’re supposed to be in it,” Sophia Hanson, junior, said.

The program does require  the students to take a basic culinary class ahead of time at their high school.

“If you love making and eaing food and if you’re ready to work hard under pressure then culinary is one great thing to join,” Cottingham said.