ELHS Students Enroll in Culinary School


The future is a difficult thing to decide on, especially when big decisions like college and work are to be decided right out of high school. Traditional post-secondary university is a common choice, but the often-overlooked option of culinary school is certainly one that should be explored. “Going into food and culinary school doesn’t necessarily mean you have to be stuck in a kitchen. There’s always a food business, so there’s a lot of things you could do in those degrees that doesn’t just send you into a kitchen forever,” culinary teacher Joanna Hildebrand said. Ms. Hildebrand teaches various different culinary classes at ELHS and has seen numerous students go off to culinary school. From baking and pastry to forming nutrition plans with doctors could be explored through this field. The requirements for culinary school applications are few, including having an interest in the field. ELHS offers a career concentration in hospitality which could also give the applicant a leg up when applying to schools. This includes taking the four culinary classes: Culinary, Culinary II, Catering & Hospitality, and Baking & Pastry. Senior Arden Yale has completed this and plans to pursue culinary after high school. “I just started cooking one day and thought, ‘wow, this is a lot of fun’ and that eventually led to an interest in hospitality in general,” Yale said. He has been working in local restaurants like East Coast Taco and Zavala for three years and is now completing the hospitality concentration. “I hope to work in the brewing industry, and hopefully open my own brewery one day,” Yale said. His interest has led him to the Culinary Institute of America, where he will work toward getting a degree in hospitality management with a concentration in wine studies. From a different perspective is Grace Blackwood, a senior currently planning on attending a four year college for a bachelors in hospitality before moving on to culinary school. “I’ve always loved to cook and known that’s what I want to do with my life,” Blackwood said. She hopes to eventually own either a farm-to-table style restaurant or a bakery. Blackwood has loved cooking ever since she was young and would wake up early to make pancakes with her dad. From working at Crescent Beach Stand to pizza parties with friends, Blackwood has a strong passion for cooking. “I think it’s important to do what you love or else you’re never going to love your job,” Blackwood said. Whether you’ve loved it from childhood or found your passion as you got older, if hospitality is something you are interested in, culinary school seems to be worth looking into.