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Linda Mah
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Culinary Students Put Talents on Display at Dinner

EFE Students Get to Practice Skills at Special Events

Education For Employment culinary students showed off their skills for Kalamazoo Public Schools' Teaching and Learning Council in December.

The students prepared Tuscan garlic chicken, garlic roasted potatoes, vegetarian stuffed bell peppers, roasted root vegetables and a variety of cookies.

Teacher Kharen Warfield Shelton said the culinary arts class draws juniors and seniors from school districts across the county. EFE provides hands-on technical training to students in the Kalamazoo Regional Educational Service Agency.

EFE classes are held in various school district facilities, rather than at a centralized vocational center, and include automotive engineering, medical technician and teaching concentrations.

The culinary students meet at the KPS Community Education Center once a week.

“Students learn a variety of basic culinary skills including knife skills, baking, and savory food preparation,” Shelton said. “They also have the opportunity to earn national food safety certifications.”

They also are exposed to concepts in cost control, management, marketing and nutrition. Students can apply these skills to jobs in culinary arts, pastry arts, and hospitality management.

Shelton said students don’t always get the opportunity to cook for others, but they enjoy showing off their skills. They have catered events for the Gilmore Piano Labs, worked with Chartwells, and baked cookies for the annual KRESA EFE and Education for the Arts open house.

“Students were excited and enthusiastic about the opportunity to cook for the council,” Shelton said. “It was a great opportunity for them to practice all of the skills and cooking techniques that they have been practicing all year,” Shelton said. “The faculty and staff were extremely complimentary and their words of encouragement boosted students’ confidence and made them feel proud and accomplished.”

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