Eldorado students get head start on careers in the kitchen

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Students in the Pro-star/Food Services class at Eldorado High School are cooking up a storm. The students in the culinary arts program are learning all the ins and outs of the kitchen, and making pretty high class meals while they’re at it.

“We are learning obviously all different types of cooking techniques, but at this level, we really start to hone our skills, and we really start to be introduced to industry standards,” said teacher Kristin Meyer.

Meyer teaches the culinary classes at Eldorado and on the menu for Friday, the students made short ribs and sweet potatoes.

“I’ve always really liked cooking at home,” said Kimberly Candelaria, a student in the class.

Some students said they just wanted to take the class for fun, but now, they can’t get enough.

“A couple times a week I’ll make something for the family,” said Matthew Farmer, who’s also in the Pro-Star class.

Meyer said many of her students are now seriously pursuing a career in the food industry.

“It’s definitely something I can see myself falling back on, and enjoying too,” said Farmer.

Meyer said some just enjoy learning how to cook, and are able to use those skills in the future.

“I get them at 17, 18, and to see it kind of click and see them find direction, it’s huge, it means so much to me as an educator,” she said.

Not only do the students get to learn how to make and prepare the food, they also go out into the community to restaurants and bakeries, to see how it’s done everyday.

“We visit different places cause I want them to see this as a viable career option,” said Meyer.

Last week, the students found themselves at Flying Star, learning how to make pastries.

“It was interesting to see how they kind of mass produce,” said Candelaria.

Meyer said it’s a way for the students to get a good feel for how the industry works, from making the food to the business aspect.

“I want them to see, what’s the difference between trending right now, with food trucks and farm to table, versus a hospital kitchen,” said Meyer.

Many of her students have already gone on to do great things.

“I’ve got kiddos that have graduated that are in culinary school, and they come back and they talk to my students and tell their story, and just kind of, the cycle continues,” said Meyer.

Eldorado is one of 11 area high schools that offers culinary classes. Meyer’s students take part in cooking competitions and have even catered events for up to 200 people.

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