Culinary students excel in the kitchen

March 19, 2009 5:00:17 PM PDT
Some students at Chicago's Clemente High School were hard at work in the kitchen on Thursday. Many of student chefs hope, one day, to be working in some of the city's finest restaurants.

On Thursday, Roberto Clemente culinary students made the meal they will be serving on Friday at a citywide event called 'Passport on a Plate.'

On the same day, they prepared jerk chicken. They also learned how to slice and make fried plantains and how to sautee cabbage. It is all about spices, oils, preparation and the right amount of fire in order to complete the desired affect.

Anthony Plana, 17, takes pride in his cooking and also enjoys teaching other classmates. He currently works part time at the Hyatt restaurant.

"I want to be a chef but later in the future I want to open up a restaurant," said Plana.

"I have learned how to cook different kinds of food, different styles. I can cook from the simplest dish to the more complicated," said Shawanda Alexander, Clemente culinary student.

Clemente culinary arts teacher Anthony Ladson believes it is important to prepare the students for the food industry. Ladsen works closely with the Hyatt Corporation to obtain internships for the aspiring chefs.

"We take them to the Hyatt and they see people that actually went to Clemente and work at the Hyatt. That really excites the kids," said Ladson.

On Thursday, some students prepared dozens of pastries for an event that will take place in the evening at the school.

"I love cooking...I don't know why people say it's a hard thing when it's not," said Pablo Perez, Clemente culinary student.

Every student ABC7 spoke with is looking forward to working in the food industry when they complete college.