Most of us only know the side of the restaurant business we see - the waiters, the menus and the delicious meals that get delivered to our table. But there is so much more that goes into running a successful restaurant and RUSD’s Academies of Racine culinary pathway students are getting a crash course in all things cuisine thanks to the Grub Crawl.
The Grub Crawl is a series of walking field trips that take students to a variety of restaurants to experience flavors, learn about menu creation and much more.
“Students saw a full restaurant kitchen in action and learned the culinary arts of frying, grilling and kitchen management while sampling the menu along the way,” said Erin Wakim, Business and Culinary Arts Academy Principal at Park High School.
Earlier this month, Park students “crawled” to Joey’s Yardarm to get an inside look. Students from Case and Horlick High Schools had similar experiences at other participating restaurants, including Roberta’s, Taejavu’s on Main and Sebastian’s.
“These kids are our future and having the opportunity to share with them what we love to do every day was a welcoming experience,” said Cory Sebastian, general manager of Sebastian’s.
The restaurant hosted 20 students on the Grub Crawl.
“In the dining room students engaged in questions regarding restaurant finance, logistics and hospitality. They toured the restaurant and had a lesson in proper table settings,” Sebastian explained.
In the end, the hope is that these experiences will encourage more culinary students to enroll in culinary-related youth apprenticeships, and eventually create a talent pipeline for the service industry in our area.
“We should utilize all the resources we have at our disposal to create a thriving city where our students would want to stay and raise a family,” said Tim Mason, director of business development for Express Employment Professionals and Academies of Racine Steering Committee member.
Mason actually came up with the idea to pair RUSD students with local restaurants after hearing from friends and colleagues how much they were struggling to find staff.
“We have several trained chefs in Racine, which made me think students would benefit from real world examples.”
And that’s what the Academies of Racine are all about. Connecting the classroom to the real world so students can see where their education can truly take them.
Want to be a part of the amazing things happening in the Academies? Learn how you can get involved by contacting Alexander DeBaker at firstname.lastname@example.org.