A partnership between the LISD TECH Center Culinary Arts program and Adrian College Sudexo and WOW Café is providing a work-based learning opportunity. LISD TECH Center Culinary students in their second year of the program, taught by Chef Jake Graf and Helen Thomas, spend a portion of their school day at the WOW Café on the Adrian College campus. They are learning real world work experience not only in the food industry, but also in the work force.
WOW Café managers oversee and instruct the LISD TECH Center Culinary Arts students while at WOW. The students also work alongside Adrian College students as they learn. This partnering provides real world, hands-on experience exposing students to the responsibilities of restaurant management, preparation and food service. This setting cannot be duplicated in the traditional classroom setting and has taught students intangible skills that prepare them for future work in a food service industry.
The students are learning the responsibilities of running a restaurant – from the front of the house to the back of the house. These responsibilities include: hosting, setting up the beverage station, cleaning (from bathrooms, the main house, to the kitchen grills), checking inventory, food prep, cooking, and serving. Additionally, the students are also gaining insight in how to be self-motivated, learning time management skills, performing job responsibilities, even when given tasks that are not desirable (like mopping and cleaning the bathrooms), developing http://www.lisd.us/lisd-tech-center-culinary-arts-program-partners-with-adrian-college-wow-cafe/communication skills with management and customers, taking pride and responsibility in their work performance, etc.
One student who has benefitted from the partnership is Jose Jimenez from Adrian High School. His interest in culinary arts began at home as he watched his father, whose career was in the food industry at a hotel. He prepares meals alongside his father, occasionally preparing special family dinners. He views this program and the opportunity at WOW Café as a way to gain a comprehensive experience. He enjoys the work “in the kitchen, the back and front line, mopping…all of it!”. After high school, Jose plans to continue his study in culinary arts in hopes of opening his own restaurant one day.
Visit WOW Café to taste and experience a team effort between LISD TECH Center Culinary students and Adrian College! Their hours are: Thursday-Sunday 11 a.m.-9 p.m. WOW is always open to the public! The Café is located above the Arrington Ice Arena.