Plenty of high school students have gone through a stint in Home Ec—learning how to bake a cake or balance a checkbook. But students at August Martin High School
, in Jamaica, New York, are getting a much bigger taste of the culinary world. As part of their Culinary Arts program, the school has opened a restaurant
run entirely by students—with high schoolers behind the cooking, service, and even the bookkeeping.
The restaurant opened on Friday, the New York Daily News reports
, with grants from local Assemblywoman Vivian Cook as well as two city councilmen. At the “Cook’s Café,” student chefs work within a professional-quality kitchen, and use a POS software system to take orders. The menu on opening day included mussels steamed in a garlic-scented broth, fresh crab cakes, and chicken with mango salsa—impressive fare, for a group of high school chefs.
School officials and local officials have been very happy with the results. “Our goal is to provide students with a hands-on method of learning,” Assistant Principal Carryl Cole told the Queens Chronicle
. “After completion of classroom training, students will be able to take what they have learned and apply it to industry externships.”
The school hopes that many of their students, after participation in this program, will be motivated to pursue jobs in the culinary industry, with a bit of a head start. But regardless of where these students end up, they are sure to have gained a real appreciation of the culinary arts.