Welcome to Culinary Arts
I am very excited to be part of the Culinary Arts Career Academy here at Ridgeland High School. Now in our third year, we continue to expand and improve our program; we have built a new, amazing, commercial kitchen and classroom; and we are welcoming a new Chef/Instructor to the family. MCSD and RHS have given us so much support and such a great opportunity, and I am looking forward to seeing what the students are able to do with it!What we DoThe "Academy" structure takes a typically 2-year program and increases it to 4, while also creating cross-curricular instructional opportunities with our English and History Departments. This extended time frame will give us much more time for practical, hands-on learning in our classroom kitchen, as well as more time for guest speakers/chefs and field trips to local area restaurants. I can promise that this will be hard work, but the payoff will be a national certification in the highly regarded ProStart restaurant program, and perhaps even more importantly, a real-world understanding of the hospitality industry, and a positive and comfortable relationship with food and cooking.We will be using a textbook titled Foundations of Restaurant Management and Culinary Arts, which has been thoroughly and expertly created by the National Restaurant Association. It will break down in detail all aspects of professional cooking, from history, to food safety, to the proper ways to prepare all of the most important kitchen basics. This book will be the foundation of much of our daily work, as well as the majority of our assignment, project, and test grades.Click the "On the "Menu' this Week" tab for info on upcoming events, labs, and class schedule."Labs" will be done in conditions that come as close to professional kitchens as we can. Hygiene, food safety practices, proper cleaning techniques, workplace safety, and professionalism will all be factored in to lab scores. Please see the attached lab rules for more specific details.
About the Teacher
I was born and raised in South Jackson, MS. I left for college in 1997, and I ended up spending the next 14 years in professional kitchens. During that time I worked everywhere from health care facilities to fine dining to tourist traps, and I have held every title from bus boy to chef to owner. Cooking has long been one of my 2 professional passions - the other being teaching. I finally left the industry to get a degree in Social Science Education from Florida State University, and I spent 4 years teaching history in Florida. I feel unbelievably lucky to be asked to combine the 2 things that I love doing the most. I have been a cook, and I have been a teacher, and now I get to do both.