Cooks In the Classroom: Students further their culinary interests by taking classes at Monroe

Cooks In the Classroom: Students further their culinary interests by taking classes at Monroe

By Emily Riley

Taking the steps to pursue a career in the culinary arts is possible for any high school junior or senior. The C.S. Monroe Technology school in Leesburg offers a variety of programs for students to take from Veterinary sciences to biotechnology to graphic communications. This gives students who have specific interests in the programs provided to get real world experience and the ability to see if they want to pursue it as a career.


Culinary arts I focuses more on the basics of food management, with focus on preparation, sanity and hospitality. Students enrolled in Culinary arts I also get to participate in catering events and are even encourage to use the skills learned to compete in state and national competitions.

“On the first Thursday of every month we do lunch for retired teachers, some students will be servers and some will be in charge of cooking the food.” said Dominic Cruz, a student for Culinary Arts I.

Students in Culinary Arts I also prepare and sell food for students, donating the proceeds to a different charity each month.

“I plan on doing Culinary Arts II next year even though I’ll have to take a zero block, so far this year has been great, and if it’s the same next year, why would I not?” Said Cruz.
An extension of the first year course, Culinary Arts II deepens the knowledge of the culinary industry, with emphasis on ethnic cuisine and management skills.

Lexy Sloane, a senior with dreams of owning her own bakery enjoys the rigor and content of the program.

“Doing labs in the kitchen, they are a lot of fun. We have individual labs, cake labs (so we just make cakes), bread labs (where we just do bread)… I have earned six credits to go to culinary school which means my prerequisites for the class are already out of the way.” said Sloane.

Students who complete Culinary Arts I and II, level one and two of ProStart exams and a 400-hour mentor-ship earn a certificate from the National Restaurant Association, which gives them credits for graduation. Students can apply their sophomore year in order to take the program their junior and senior year.

“Definitely write on [the application] what experience you have. It can be the smallest thing, like volunteering, but they really look at that. It’s really important to do some volunteering, through Key Club or just one or two activities, you’re more likely to get in.” said Sloane.

For more information of the programs and application process, go to https://www.lcps.org/mtc .