Not only do they dish it out, but they cook it up.
This year, 260 students grabbed the opportunity to learn restaurant skills ranging from front-of-house to back-of-house. They tackle everything from baking, stocks, sauces, fermentation, meat fabrication, cooking methods, and garde manger in the culinary arts program at Mount Dora High School.
The program also provides freshmen through seniors hands-on experience with commercial equipment, as well as the opportunity to receive a ServSafe certification by the National Restaurant Association.
Two passionate instructors, Chef Jenn Walloch and Chef Tim Hobbs, guide the program. Both chefs share their wealth of professional experience with eager students in the program's impressive commercial kitchen and two classrooms. The result is an enthusiastic and proud group of students.
Walloch combined her culinary arts degree and executive chef experience with a teaching degree in special education, early childhood and family consumer sciences.
Hobbs, a Colorado native, attended culinary school and earned his degree in food and beverage management and put it to use during his career in private dining, country clubs, and hotels.
Faculty, staff and upper classmen can purchase the student-prepared foods ranging from chicken tenders, sandwiches and salads to a weekly buffet with different ethnic foods for a mere five bucks.
The program had a modest start in the old Roseborough building, now a Montessori school, and evolved in the late 90's into the career technical education course of culinary arts. The program has turned out many local chefs, including Clemente Rodriquez, recent winner of the local 'Chef vs. Chef' battle at Pisces Rising.
Every spring the upper class works on an annual gala, when the culinary program works with the school's drafting class to build restaurant concepts from building design to custom menus. The 9th annual gala will be held May 7th, and include cuisine from different regions of the U.S.
The program serves the public Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, however the schedule can change weekly to accommodate events on campus. It is best for the public to call ahead.