Camp Correspondent Blog – Day 1, Week 3

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Discovering Opportunities in Culinary Arts

by Annie Donnell

The third week of DREAM BIG kicked off at the St. Louis Community College Culinary Arts School at the Forst Park campus. DREAM BIG participants excitedly started the day listening to Chef Casey Schiller who works in the pastry and arts sector of the kitchen. He gave students an introduction to the kitchens as well as what programs St. Louis Community College Culinary Arts School offered. Three associate degree programs are available including Culinary Arts, Pastry and Arts, and Hospitality Management. He mentioned jobs in culinary arts are possible in different locations including restaurants, country clubs, and bakeries.

After students were welcomed, they had an opportunity to help prepare the meal for lunch to practice what jobs in the culinary world would be like, and emphasize the importance of collaborating together to make a successful and efficient meal. Students also learned the importance of multitasking in the kitchen and how vital this skill is when cooking large quantities of food at a time. To demonstrate these skills, students paired up or worked in groups of three to measure ingredients for the bread dough and chocolate chip cookie dough, which were both made from scratch. Each pair used scales to measure dry ingredients, and students enjoyed this hands-on activity.

After measuring everything in the bakeshop, students went down the hallway to the next kitchen which focused on savory foods in the culinary arts kitchen. There, students seasoned their own chicken, observed how the vegetables were going to get roasted and saw the noodles being cooked for the pasta. Different spices were laid out, and students chose their own seasoning for their individual piece of chicken to ensure everyone had flavors they enjoyed.

After working in the culinary arts kitchen, students learned about table settings and practiced setting their own spot at the table. After the table was set, lunch was ready to be served. Students enjoyed the fruits of their labor buffet-style that included focaccia bread; Caesar salad with Caesar dressing from scratch; pasta with zucchini, squash and tomato sauce; chicken; and chocolate chip cookies. Students enjoyed the food and were happy they had the chance to help contribute to the meal that was prepared. The room students dined in is the same room SLCC Culinary Arts students serve their meals to those who taste their finished products.

According to Henry, “My favorite part of the day was cooking, because I learned about cooking different foods, and learned about all the opportunities available.”

After lunch, Starkloff staff gave students a personality test to help students understand their strengths. Students also practiced elevator pitches by picking a character to practice how elevator pitches work. Students also learned and discussed SMART GOALS, and created a timeline to think about their goals for the future. The first day of week three was a delicious success!

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