Bon Appétit!: Culinary Students Wow With Their Cooking Skills

Bon Appétit!: Culinary Students Wow With Their Cooking Skills
Janet Cruz / 27 Jan 2023 / No Comments » Comments

By Janet Cruz

Crème brulée anyone? That was just one of the amazing dishes served by culinary students at the annual WAVE Dinner Series at the Culinary Arts and Hospitality Campus  earlier this month.

First-year students in the culinary program had the opportunity to cook up a French-themed dinner which included a salad vinaigrette, Tarte Au Soleil with pesto, beef bourguignon with garlic mashed potatoes and Ratatouille along with French bread and cheese fondue with crème brulée for dessert.

Students Prepare dessert plates at the WAVE Dinner Series event/ Photo by Thomas Vandegrift.

“The students plan the dinner, pick the recipes and execute it,” said  Karla Desper, WAVE JTED Culinary Arts Instructor and Coordinator at the Central Campus. “They are also involved in estimating food cost.”

Students in the WAVE Culinary Program prepping plates at WAVE dinner series 2023  January 25 / Photo by Thomas Vandegrift.

The Western Arizona Vocational Education (WAVE ) works with local businesses to create a link between potiential employers and employees.  The structure also includes dual enrollment opportunities  within the community college system.

WAVE students preparing salad plates to serve at Annual WAVE Dinner Series 2023 / photo by Thomas Vandegrift.

The WAVE Governing Board works closely with local employers to define the evolving vocational and technical skill needs in the industry as well.  JTED is a joint  independent school district that includes all schools, and creates workforce partnerships in the community.

The students in career and technical education at the participating high schools are all members of WAVE JTED.

The annual WAVE Dinner Series, is one of those events where first-year students in the culinary program get to showcase their skills in the kitchen and area of hospitality.

” Our first year students participate, they enroll at their local high school in the spring,” said Thomas Vandegrift, Culinary Arts/Hospitality Instructor, WAVE JTED Central Campus.”

Creme Burlee made by WAVE students. Photo by Thomas Vandegrift.

All aspects of a traditional dinner experience were recreated by students. a traditional menu, place setting, wait staff,cooks, hostesses and hosts were all on hand while proud parents enjoyed a taste of the amazing dishes the students have prepared with skills accuired in the program.

Jennifer Wrigley mother, Connor Wrigley junior 1st year at wave, Linda Kroll grandma enjoy dinner at WAVE Dinner Series Event /submitted photo.

“My son Connor was involved in the kitchen known as back of the house. He helped with the dessert which was a creme Brulée topped with strawberries and blueberries. The French-cuisine dinner turned out amazing from start to finish. They were all very polite and courteous which made for a great evening,” saod parent Jennifer Wigley.

“I feel very proud about my son doing the program. He has learned a lot and it has helped him mature, learn etiquette and how to cook so many unique dishes,” Wrigley added.

For more information on WAVE JTED programs, visit their website at . Students interested in WAVE programs may also sign up through their local high school or through their local community college for dual enrollment programs.


Photo courtesy Barbara Stevenson

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