The challenge faced by all culinary students is to translate what they've learned in the laboratory into real world experience. Exterships, and field trips such as this one, help students understand that life in the culinary world consists of more than cooking.
By Kaylee LaRocque, Naval Air Station Jacksonville Public Affairs
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (NNS) -- The Naval Air Station Jacksonville Flight Line Café hosted 70 culinary arts students from Ridgeview High School in Orange Park, Fla., March 26.
The students visited the facility to learn about the management of a large galley and to witness the day-to-day operations involved in promptly serving hundreds of patrons.
"The first thing we did was explain how we receive our supplies and show them a dry storeroom to see how every box is marked up, categorized and how the product is entered into a controlled inventory from beginning to end," said Senior Chief Culinary Specialist (SS/SW) Bryon French, leading chief petty officer at the Flight Line Café galley.
"Then we showed them the automation of our records and expenditures, who takes charge of all the items that come through and how decisions are made in the day-to-day operations."
The students then made their way through the prep areas to see how the food is prepared each day and the "breakout boxes" used as a control process for refrigerated items like meats and dairy products.
As the students rotated through helping Navy culinary specialists serve hungry lunch patrons, other students happily enjoyed some tasty "Bubba" burgers.
Once the lunch meal was over, the next stop was the pastry shop where they learned what it was like to make quality deserts in mass quantities.
"It's awesome being here today. I'm not a military kid so I've never been on a base before and to find out what goes on in a military kitchen was extremely interesting to me," stated Briana White, a senior at Ridgeview High School.
"It's big difference from what we do. We only cook for about 50 teachers and they cook in much bigger volumes here."
"We came here today because my students needed to learn about food service management relating to inventory. So instead of covering this in the classroom, we thought it would be a great idea to bring them to a large operation so they would take back more knowledge after seeing it firsthand," said Amy Markey, culinary chef and instructor at Ridgeview High School.
"I think this is great to show them the possibilities available to them and options they have outside of school."
"These types of visits are extremely beneficial to us and the school because it provides awareness on both sides," said French.
"We show them the internal side of our organization. Most of these kids work in the culinary arts field at their school and can relate to what we do. And, by hosting them, hopefully some of them will join the Navy and become culinary specialists."
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