Culinary Arts Teaches Skills to Grill

Before the cold winter weather arrived, Culinary Arts students gathered around the grill for a tasty lesson.

Family and Consumer Sciences instructor Judy Costa and CJ parent Jason Sattler teamed up during the first week in November to show Culinary Arts I classes all there is to know about grilling. Students started by testing their knife skills while learning how to slice wholesale cuts of meat for retail. Once proportioned, the pork ribs and beef steaks were trimmed, marinated and seasoned before hitting the grill and smoker temporarily stationed on the lawn in front of school.

“Mr. Sattler smoked the ribs in the courtyard and shared with students tips of preparing the grill and fire. He shared more cooking tips as the students grilled cuts of steak using thermometers to prepare their cut of meat to perfection,” Costa said.

Along with techniques, Sattler also discussed the reasons why each method of cooking works best when familiar with the different areas of the animal a cut comes from. Depending on the meat's tenderness a chef can determine if a cut should be prepared at a low temperature for a long time (like smoking) or if it can be cooked at a high temperature relatively quickly (like grilling).

The Periods 3-and-4 classes were finally able to enjoy the fruits – or rather meats – of their labor just before lunch.

“Culinary Arts is more than just baking, as we prepare students for life’s skills,” Costa said.

During the first semester, Culinary Arts students also learned about planning and preparing meals, nutrition and healthy meal alternatives, and ethnic and holiday foods. The final unit includes a lesson on budgeting, which challenges students to source, cost out and prepare a healthy meal for less than $3.50 per serving.

Culinary Arts I and II are just two life skills classes offered through the Family and Consumer Sciences department. CJ also offers semester-long courses including Family Living, Life Management, Parenting and the Art of Housing & Interior Design.