Students learn more than cooking skills

Published 9:16 am Thursday, October 24, 2019

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Randolph-Henry High School (R-HHS) has rolled out a new elective this school term that instructor, John Engelhorn says is teaching more than just cooking skills.

“Cooking is a great life skill,” says Engelhorn. “If along the way students develop a passion or interest in cooking, there are so many jobs out there for them.”

Currently, Engelhorn is teaching students how to bake things like biscuits, sweet rolls and pizza dough from scratch. “The next half of the semester we will be working on knife skills and other techniques  such as making cheese,” added Engelhorn.

Students will also be learning food safety and sanitary practices used in cooking.

“We are excited about what this course and Mr. Engelhorn bring to our students,” said R-HHS Principal, Shep Critzer. “We see the course promoting responsibility and work ethic among the students and giving them both practical life skills and marketable job skills that can be used anywhere they go.”

While learning to cook is a skill that some students are getting firsthand experience with by taking the Culinary Arts Class, Engelhorn says that students are learning how to work together as a team. “Students are put together in teams, and sometimes conflicts arise, and they must learn to work through it,” he said. “No matter what you do in life, you will find that you have to work with people you may not like, and this teaches them how to do that.”

Engelhorn, a certified chef, is teaching students how to cook and function in an industrial kitchen that has been provided for by grant money through the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act.

A portion of the $40,000 grant for the high school’s Career and Technical Education programs was used to provide a stove, prep tables, workstations and other cooking equipment.

Though students are learning a variety of skills in Engelhorn’s Culinary Arts Program sophomore Wesley Anders says cooking and eating are the two favorite things he gets to do in the class.