Golden Apple: Staples-Motley Students Host Culinary Celebration
“It’s all about an exploratory, hands-on look at the culinary industry in the Brainerd Lakes Area,” said Staples-Motley High School Principal Mike Schmidt.
The main dining room of Cragun’s Resort was packed full of students’ friends and families for a true culinary experience.
“This right here is like the Super Bowl,” said Emily Hoeschen, Staples-Motley Culinary Arts Teacher. “To see them back there taking charge, they aren’t asking questions anymore, they are just taking over, smiling and loving it.”
After just learning the basics in September, tonight was the night for the students to show off the final product.
“I learned a lot of how to cook, but I also learned a lot of behind-the-scenes like the rules and regulations, temperatures, how to set silverware and the whole package instead of just how to cook,” said Staples-Motley senior Autumn Nelsen.
The new culinary class is part of the ProStart Program, getting students excited about future careers.
“In the students’ world today, hands-on and experience is where it’s at,” Schmidt said. “It’s how they learn.”
“He has just blossomed with this program,” said Nicole Stracek, a parent of one culinary student. “He comes home and wants to help more with dinner and he’s very excited about what he is learning.”
The students are gaining experience to take with them beyond just the course.
“This whole program has been a good influence on him in regards to learning these skills that are so valuable in life,” Stracek said.
About 50 students in grades 8-12 took on the challenges from every aspect of the culinary industry.
“This is exactly what you hope for as a building principal,” Schmidt said. “You hope to give your students real, credible experience.”
And this experience lets the students know they have options.
“There are jobs and careers waiting for them during and after high school,” Schmidt said.
The principal hopes to not only continue the program but also add other areas of study.