St. Martin High School class cooks up a new course

ST. MARTIN, MS (WLOX) - By Elizabeth Vowell – email

ST. MARTIN, MS (WLOX) - "It's a good curse, but it's a curse to live and love to eat like you do here," said New Orleans School of Cooking Chef Anne Leonard to students and guests of St. Martin High School.

According to Leonard, those are words to live by, and St. Martin is making them words to work by with a new two year vocational class.

The new hotel, restaurant and tourism management class teaches students every aspect of those industries.

"Take for instance the restaurant, they will learn chef duties; they will learn prep work; they will learn dishwashing, janitorial services," class instructor Robin Pate said. "They will learn everything that goes on in a kitchen."

Saturday the class made its public debut with a cooking demonstration by Chef Leonard. The class's food lab was turned into a working restaurant for the day with students preparing food, waiting tables and cleaning up.

The class sold tickets to the demo to raise money for equipment and textbooks.

"You can get an inside look on how restaurants really work, what everybody does in there, and its really cool," said student Sarah Soares.

The course allows students to experience the tourism business first hand, which the instructor says gives them a new perspective on the industry.

"It's made them a more well rounded person. It makes them aware of the opportunities out there, number one. It also makes them appreciate people who work in those areas," said Pate.

The students will walk away with more than just a good recipe. At the end of the two year course, each student will have the experience and certification to compete for real world jobs in tourism. For Pate, that leads to the most important part of learning.

"They'll be prepared. They will be prepared."

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