GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOTV)-Michigan Rehabilitation Services (MRS) has hired Kitchen Sage to provide a virtual kitchen eight-week safety and cooking class for students at Lakewood and Portland High Schools. Students are learning time management, following recipes, clean up, prep work, quality checks, safety, proper handling of food, use of kitchen tools, and the Brigade system are just a few of the strategies being taught. Lakewood High School has twelve students participating, where students are making connections between food, nutrition, and health. This unique learning experience is providing students with opportunities to learn new skills that will assist them as they transition from school to work.  Chef Karen is teaching the basics of cooking virtually in a competition style experience.

“I really like the experience. I have even tried some of the recipes at home.” shared student Kailie Gardner. “Baking is a science,” stated Chef Karen. “Liquid measuring vs. dry measuring, efficiency, are all things you need to know in a professional kitchen.”

The first thirty minutes of class is spent teaching, instructions, and safety. The second half of class, students cook in teams. All of the entrees are kept secret, until students open boxes filled with the necessary ingredients. There are three groups of students, and six recipes that need to be made, plated and presented within one hour. It was first piloted in Portland last year. It has been a great experience for staff and students. This is community partnership like the one with Michigan Rehabilitation Services Kitchen Sage program that enhance instruction and build potential in local students.

“It’s not something I would do on my own but experiencing it at school is fun.” Shared Eathan Clark, a student participating in the program. “The level of teamwork and dedication is not normally seen sitting in a classroom. The students have been great at helping each other in the learning process.” stated Mrs. Doran, teacher.

 “I really enjoy the hands-on learning.” – Christopher Blair, student.

The students will get copies of all the recipes when the class is completed. Breia Evans, student shared “I love cooking. I am looking forward to trying all the recipes at home.” The program is currently in two Ionia County schools. Mrs. Doran (Lakewood HS) and Mrs. Chaffee (Portland HS) would like to see the program grow in the county to other schools. For more information contact the Ionia Intermediate School District.