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National Restaurant Association - What ProStart teachers did on their summer vacations

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What ProStart teachers did on their summer vacations

While school was out this summer, more than 200 ProStart educators honed their culinary skills at the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation’s Summer Institutes, sponsored by Darden Restaurants. Participants learned culinary skills from leading chefs to better prepare their students for restaurant careers.

Here's what some of them had to say:

NRAEF: How did the Summer Institutes help you as an instructor?
DEBRA HADLEY, West Caldwell High School, Lenoir, N.C.:
The curriculum work deepened my understanding of the content, so I can better deliver it to my students. The kitchen sessions allowed me to refine my techniques and learn commercial-kitchen ins and outs so I can better prepare my students for commercial foodservice. And it was wonderful to meet teachers from all over the country. We shared successes, tricks, techniques, lessons and some frustrations. It was a week of great learning, fellowship and skill-building.

ANN LEIDER, Elgin (Ill.) High School: I have been teaching ProStart for five years, and the information was a good review for me as teacher. It was a good reminder of what we challenge our students to do every day, and it was a great opportunity to network with other professionals and see how someone else might present the information. Once we are are in our kitchens/classrooms, we often don't have the time to see what others are doing and share best practices.

NRAEF: What did you learn that you will be able to share with your ProStart students this fall?
HADLEY: The Summer Institute made me realize I need to integrate ingredients, spices, flavors and techniques into the classroom time as well as our lab work.

LEIDER: I will be using some of the recipes we cooked with at the institute.

NRAEF: How will your training help your students become more valuable as future restaurant industry employees/leaders?
: The exposure to the curriculum itself is great for my students. I teach in a poor, rural community,  and my students need to know about aspects of the hospitality industry that they don't see locally. I like to challenge my students, and the ProStart curriculum certainly accomplishes that. It also opens their eyes and minds to possibilities that were unknown to them before.

LEIDER: I try each day to grow the passion and skills that my students already have. I emphasize the job skills and traits that are going to really take them to their next level.

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