There are various pathways a student can take to further their education in culinary.
A variety of technical schools are available in Kansas as well as on the job training depending on the restaurant. Students have a unique opportunity to choose how to continue in culinary after or during high school.
“You could actually go to college for it or you could go work at a restaurant and maybe you start at an entry level. So maybe you’re like a busboy or you do some kinds of things along those lines. And then just through on the job training, you might get to be a line cook, and then you might eventually become like a chef or a sous chef or any of those types of things. So there’s opportunities for sure.” Culinary arts teacher Ali Kiser said.
Another route connected to on the job training is starting a business. More work is involved in small businesses than what some people realize. Having experience, good networking and mentorship with current successful people may help guide someone on that path, according to Kiser.
“Kind of figure out what kind of small business you want and then get a job at a place like that, so you can see how they run it,” Kiser said. “So that we can really understand the ins-and-outs of the business before you go in and try to do it yourself. Because there’s so much more involved in a small business than people realize, and they just think, ‘oh, cool, i’d love to be my own boss,’ but that means you don’t get days off.”
Although Kiser started off differently as a history major, she knew she wanted to do education and enjoyed culinary arts.
“I started taking some classes and I really fell in love with the subject because I feel like it’s so usable, such usable knowledge and so career focused. I took like one or two just really basic cooking classes at Pittsburg State just to be a teacher, but not exactly in depth cooking.” said Kiser.
With the outbreak of COVID-19, the 2020-2021 school year made it difficult to teach any hands on course. In Kiser’s case, Classes had to adapt to more visual representations and memorization of what was taught in the previous year.