Culinary Arts

Students will learn the fundamentals of basic cookery and expand to creating gourmet foods, artistic presentations, and become part of a team that creates a recipe for success in the hospitality industry. As more Americans are eating out, culinary careers continue to grow at a steady pace. The need for high level food preparation, event planning, management, and leadership skills are in demand. Working in restaurants and other eateries are steady sources of employment.

Program Description

Students in the LISD TECH Center’s Culinary Arts program learn to manage real-world kitchen challenges in a classroom that doubles as a commercial kitchen and is fully equipped with institutional cooking equipment. Cooking, baking, management, and safety and sanitation practices are the focus of the program. Students will learn to create recipes, prepare meals from scratch, perform basic daily kitchen operations including cost controls, inventory and ordering. Students are involved in planning and coordinating several events throughout the year and cater meals at the LISD TECH Center. This program helps develop leadership skills through these events as well as participation in several competitions.

To Be Successful

Successful students work independently or as a team member. Having access to internet, good communication skills, motivation to move with a purpose, and the ability to manage time effectively also are helpful skills. Students must have good attention to detail as well as high cleanliness and professional behavior standards.

Student Organizations



  • Perform basic math skills such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, fractions, decimals, measurement, weights, and conversions
  • Read and understand written material
  • Follow, understand, and implement written and verbal instructions
  • Complete and submit assignments within the given time frame
  • Perform basic word processing and computer skills


  • Follow rules and directions in the classroom and around power tools and equipment
  • Work independently and as a team player
  • Maintain a positive attitude; respectful to others
  • Adhere to professional standards of dress and behavior
  • Self-motivated, stay on task, good organizational skills, excellent class attendance, demonstrate flexibility
  • Communicate with others in a small group or a large, public setting
  • Able to work under pressure and multitask

Program Specific

  • Interest in one of the following career fields: culinary, marketing, management, travel & tourism, or entrepreneurship
  • Be aware of food allergies, dietary constraints, inability to touch raw meat products or any other issues that would prohibit preparing or tasting ANY types of food
  • Environment: Willing to work in a fast-paced environment, hot or cold conditions, using sharp knives, exposure to loud machinery, chemicals, fire, and hot grease
  • Manipulate small tools with precision
  • Stand for a period of 3 hours or longer
  • Lift and carry up to 50 lbs.
  • Enjoy working with others and outside customers
  • Attend after school events and/or student organizations

Note: Additional education may be required.

  • Chef
  • Executive chef
  • Short-order cook
  • Line cook
  • Dishwasher
  • Restaurant Manager
  • Server

*The LISD TECH Center recommends the academic credit listed. Credit can only be awarded by local districts.

  • 1.0 4th Math
  • 1.0 Visual, Performing, & Applied Arts
  • 1.0 3rd Science (in lieu of)
  • 1.0 World Languages (in lieu of)
  • 1.0 Online Learning Experience

*College credit can only be awarded by the college or university. Certain requirements must be met outside of completing the program.

  • Baker College
  • Davenport University
  • Ferris State University
  • Jackson College
  • Siena Heights University
  • Sullivan University
  • Washtenaw Community College


  • ServSafe Sanitation and Safety
  • National Career Readiness Certificate
  • ProStart Certificate of Achievement
  • Precision Testing
  • ProStart Year 1 & 2

Andy Lehmann head shot


Andy Lehmann has worked in the field of culinary education for the last 20 years.   His experience includes opening a new restaurant, training staff, running a successful catering business, and teaching at both the high school and college levels.  Andy has seen students excel through ProStart programs as well as SkillsUSA competitions.  Andy earned a Bachelor's degree in Speech Communication from Augustana College in Illinois and a Culinary degree from Schoolcraft College.  He is a certified executive chef with the American Culinary Federation and a Certified CTE Culinary Teacher. Andy takes great pride in seeing students all over the state and enjoys the honor of continuing to support their progress.  He is also an assistant baseball coach for Salem High School in Plymouth, MI.  Andy has been a part of the team for 7 years and has enjoyed being a part of a game he loves.  Andy and his wife have two Shih Tzus and celebrate their niece and nephews whenever possible.  They love to travel, attend church, spend time with their neighbors and family, and watch Adrian High School and Siena Heights University men's soccer games. 

Contact Me

Helen Thomas headshot

Teacher Assistant

Helen Thomas worked at NIMC hospital for about five years before moving to Michigan.  She baked pastries for small, catered parties and businesses while staying home to raise her children.  Helen worked for the Moveable Feast as their pastry chef from 2008-2012.  She began as a teacher assistant at the LISD TECH Center in the Culinary Arts program in January 2013.

Dawn Stetler head shot

Teacher Assistant

Dawn Stetler is excited to join the Culinary Arts team at the LISD TECH Center. She has worked the last two years at a small business bakery in the Waterloo area of Chelsea. Prior to the bakery, she was the Baking Technician within the SWWC Consortium at Saline High School. Her experiences at these establishments have given her the knowledge and insight of the bakery world that she cannot wait to share with the students.
She has two sons; the oldest lives in Michigan and the youngest recently moved to California. Her hobbies include gardening, trying out new recipes, visiting her children and family, and playing with her cat Coco.

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