Culinary Arts

Culinary Arts

Culinary Arts and Restaurant Management students at Eastern Technical High School follow the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundations proStart curriculum. Students spend two years learning industry-specific skills essential for a prosperous career in the foodservice industry.

ProStart uses the Foundations of Restaurant Management & Culinary Arts textbooks developed by industry and academic experts. Sophomore students at Eastern Tech begin their coursework with an overview of why the restaurant industry is so successful, the basics of keeping food safe, and workplace safety. Their kitchen instruction starts out with knife skills and standardized recipe use. Hands-on cooking methods learned during their first year in the kitchen entails soups, sauces, potatoes, grains, and fruit and vegetable cookery. Throughout their sophomore year, they will learn the importance of professionalism and management essentials while working in the Eastern Inn, the school’s student-run culinary restaurant. At the end of sophomore year, students take the first of two proStart national exams.

Our second year, proStart students learn menu design and marketing skills to prepare them for their senior year menu project. In the kitchen, our junior students practice meat and poultry cookery, desserts and baked goods, and global cuisines. They continue to perfect their knife skills while producing restaurant quality food for the school’s student-run culinary restaurant.

During their junior year students take two certification exams:

1. The nationally recognized ServSafe certification course and exam covering food safety administered by the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation. Gaining ServSafe certification can create an opportunity for advancement in the foodservice industry.   

2. The second proStart national exam. To meet the requirements, students must pass both of the national exams, demonstrate mastery of 53 out of 75 foundational skills, and work 400 mentored hours. Upon completion of the proStart requirements, students are awarded an industry-recognized “ProStart National Certificate of Achievement.” Students who receive the certificate are eligible for NRAEF scholarship opportunities and course credits at more than 75 culinary arts colleges.

Senior culinary students pull together all the skills they’ve learned to demonstrate teamwork, leadership, and collaboration by taking complete charge of the culinary kitchen and Eastern Inn dining room for one week. During this time each student is responsible for building their restaurant concept from scratch, taking into account current trends, as well as food costs and availability. Students spend classroom time to develop their concept and bring it to life while staying within a budget. Decorating the dining room to meet their concept, marketing their menu, assigning tasks to the workers, and compiling the grocery list are just a few of the tasks they must complete. They will experience first-hand the different duties and responsibilities involved in running a business.

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