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Learning To ACE It In The Kitchen

Cookery classes offered by the Alternative Center for Education are providing a fresh start for local students.

Culinary Arts student LaShawnda Ray displays the colorful Berry and Mandarin Salad.

Culinary Arts student LaShawnda Ray displays the colorful Berry and Mandarin Salad.

When Betsy Harrison’s culinary arts students first arrive in her kitchen at the Alternative Center for Education (ACE), they usually don’t even know how to properly slice a tomato. In no time, however, some are preparing stuffed chicken breasts – with Betsy’s special recipe of ricotta cheese, spinach and a touch of nutmeg – for 140 women at the Fall Card Party at St. Helen Church. And others are whipping up an eggnog pie to serve to Oak Harbor residents at their Christmas luncheon.

In between special events, the student chefs make daily lunches for all the students at the school. The meals includes such regular items on the menu as hamburgers and grilled cheese sandwiches, along with the manager’s special – the manager being Betsy – which could be spaghetti with meatballs or breaded chicken breasts with mashed potatoes. These lunches add up to 18,000 meals a year and give the students a good grounding in food preparation as well as the associated cleaning up.

Read the entire article in the May 2012 issue