New Chef In Town

Culinary teacher charts new course at CAHS

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Denis Kyriazis, Assistant Announcement Manager

This year of high school has brought up a lot of changes, and one of those changes is our culinary teacher Mrs. Nicole White. She has been cooking since she was a child; she helped her family prepare day to day meals, but she also cooked for herself.

“I’ve been cooking all my life,” White said. “It started when my mom wasn’t always home, she was always working late and I had to learn how to feed myself. I used to help my grandmother when I was really small to make big dinners for the whole family.”

Now, Mrs. White is faced with the challenge of teaching students at CAHS to cook, and has found innovative ways to overcome the obstacle of not having a kitchen in her classroom.

“It takes a lot of thinking outside the box, a lot of imagination, a lot of research, and a lot of Pinterest,” White said.

White plans to get her students certified to cook in a commercial kitchen. That way, they could have an advantage when looking for a job out in the culinary field.

“My plans are to get my students, in the future, not only certified, but to familiarize them with a kitchen that’s not only standard but commercial as well,” White explained, “so that when they go into the workforce, they have a certification that will help them not only to obtain a job, but possibly a higher pay rate.”

When White started teaching at CAHS, her main focus was to just get students certified to cook in a commercial kitchen, but as time went by her focus shifted to teaching them how to make a plate and a food panel.

“Honestly, my goal started out to get everyone certified and to be able to teach them how to put something on a plate,” White said, “but now it has graduated to teaching them a flavor palate, how to plate beautifully, and to get us to a contest where we can get our name out there into the public.”

The one thing that had been a real challenge for White has been learning how to teach others to cook instead of doing the work for them.

“Honestly, breaking the barrier of feeling like I have to do everything myself to teaching children how to do it, that’s been interesting,” White explained. “I’ve done that on a smaller scale, but I have close to one hundred and thirty students here, and it’s a challenge to get everyone involved. I would say probably eighty five or ninety percent of my students are very interested, but there are some that I have to reach out to, and when I do that it’s pretty easy from then onwards.”