Monday, April 18, 2005

On Experimentation That Can Occur at the Local Level

The Dallas Morning News has an article about a high school's neat cooking program.
This year, seniors opened the Pirate Cove Cafe, a nautical-themed hideaway known for its intimate ambience and cheap yet adventurous specials. Lunch is served to staff members and the public at the hot spot tucked between math and science classrooms.
Unfortunately, the article doesn't let us know what some of these "adventurous" specials are. I would have liked some more details. What it does let us know, however, is the adventures some high schools are having in trying out new ideas for educating and training students.
The Wylie restaurant is one of several student-run enterprises sprouting up statewide as ties between schools and restaurateurs tighten and food-related class offerings go far beyond family and consumer science (the updated version of home economics).
On a broader, socio-level, some might critique the program for just training kids to be near-minimum-wage working cogs in the resturant-industry. But, on the other hand, it sounds like a good idea to give kids some real-world experiences and responsibilities that will keep them excited about school and actively learning and trying new things. Plus, it seems to be having some good effects:
For Anthony Moore, a senior at Wylie High School, the restaurant experience has solidified his career plans. He said he has no desire to sit behind a desk all day when he enters the workforce and hopes to earn a scholarship to attend culinary school next year.
The only downside is that other school kids are not allowed to eat the food.
Its hours are limited. The cafe is open about every other day depending on the school's class schedule. It is open to the public but is not exactly in a prime location for foot traffic, and it largely relies on word of mouth to attract outsiders. (The cafe is not open to students who are not enrolled in culinary arts.) Still, the place is plenty busy.
There must be some sort of silly regulation that prevents students from eating purchased food from anywhere other than the official school cafeteria. That's too bad. With this neat experimental program, it seems like letting the student-chefs' student peers sample and patronize the cafe would be an even better way to cement the program and make it a vibrant part of the school and the community. I think that if schools are going to be given some leeway in trying out new programs, the local school regulations related to the programs should be a little more relaxed so that the experiment could take on even more dimensions.


Blogger natalie said...

Your blog is great! It's hard to find blogs with good content and people talking about culinary school these days! I have a secret culinary school blog if you want to come check it out!

9/13/2005 3:37 AM  

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