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TSTC Culinary Arts Cooks Up Fun for Students
(WACO) – It takes a lot to deliver a dish that looks nice and tastes good to customers in restaurants.


Behind the scenes it is organized chaos with chopping, frying, stirring, reading and measuring. Misreading a recipe with bad mathematics or skipping cooking steps can cause a disaster for both cooks and diners.


More than 20 middle school students from Waco and China Spring worked with prepared recipes at Texas State Technical College on Thursday, June 23 as part of the LITWaco summer camp held by Communities in Schools of the Heart of Texas and the Waco Fire Department.


“We try to target students who are at a place where they need help in excelling and want to take it to the next level,” said John David, a Communities in Schools program manager at Carver Middle School in Waco.


Culinary Arts program instructor Michael Osborne led the students in their lesson. Students read aloud to Osborne what to put into the four smoothies he made and got to sample the drinks.


“They are minnows now and they will be big fish,” Osborne said about the students. “I hope this can encourage them and spark an interest. Culinary programs are booming in area high schools.”


Jaiton Mitchell, 12, a seventh grade student at Carver Middle School, said she wanted to make the smoothies at home. And, she will have help – her mother, Kendall Jackson, continues to study Culinary Arts at TSTC.


“I like the smoothies and every fruit they have in them,” she said. “I like being in the camp because it’s fun.”


Students also received a tour of TSTC’s Greta W. Watson Culinary Arts Center.


“We want to train you to be leaders, to be in charge of a kitchen,” Osborne said.


The visit to TSTC marked the first time that some of the participants had been on a college campus.


“It gives them that boost that they need in education and life,” said fire department Deputy Fire Marshall Keith Guillory.


The four-week literacy camp has included visits to KXXV News Channel 25 and the Waco Police Department with plans to visit the fire department’s station on Peach Street. Camp participants have studied writing, books and public speaking during field trips and classroom lessons.


The trip to see how news was put on air at KXXV inspired Daniel Tucker, 13, an eighth grader at Carver Middle School, to think again about his career choice.


“I want to be a sports analyst if I don’t make the NBA,” he said.


The partnership is part of an effort by Waco Fire Chief Bobby Tatum to have the fire department become more involved and visible, said Guillory. The camp began June 5 and ends later this month.
Written by Daniel Perry on June 24, 2016
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