CACC shows it all

Grace Vance

Among the CACC Culinary kitchen’s chaotic bustling of students and crafting of dish after dish, junior Embrashia Mathies chops a handful of chives in preparation for the CACC Showcase tomorrow. Rather than attending the showcase as an incoming student, the Battle student will be there to assist the Culinary teachers in their demonstrations, which are designed to help curious students understand what kind of activities happen in a specific class. For the Culinary demonstration, assisting students like Mathies will prepare dishes like gumbo, sausage, and gougeres.
“We will be preparing and showing the community, incoming students, and parents what all we do here,” Mathies said. “[Students assisting will] either give the tours around the kitchen or we’re just preparing dishes [we will be] serving.”
All the Culinary chefs will attend the showcase along with select students in Baking and Culinary to help run the demonstrations. Culinary chef Brook Harlan said that although the kitchen is busily preparing for the showcase, the work will be well worth it in helping incoming students get interested in the class.
“I think in our case, seeing the kitchen in full swing is extremely important. We want the future students to see what the class is really like,” Harlan said. “It is a great opportunity for them to talk to all of the chefs, but even more important is the ability to talk to current students in the program.”
Chef Harlan believes the showcase demonstration will give future students a better understanding of what classes will really be like from “an honest one on one conversation with chefs and current students.”
In her ten years working as an assistant director at the CACC, Rebecca Pisano is excited for yet another showcase this year. Similar to why RBHS, HHS, and BHS host a curriculum fair, she said the CACC hosts the showcase for the same core reasons.
“So far as [why] the Career Center hosts the showcase, we do it really to help students with career planning and [to] help them know what all their options are,” Pisano said.
Along with demonstrations, incoming students attending the showcase will have the opportunity to enter for a drawing with the prize of an iPad. Students will also be apart of a fact finding activity, where they will go to six different places and write down a fact that they learned from each place.
Starting this year, the showcase will be held in December rather than January, when it was previously hosted. Part of the reason this change has happened is because of eighth graders attending what Pisano calls the “eighth grade event” where all middle schoolers tour their future high schools.
“The middle school students who will be heading over to Rock Bridge this next year came [to the CACC], and we wanted the showcase to happen as quickly after that event as possible,” Pisano said. “All those events I’m talking about happen in November. So that’s why we are having the showcase December 4th.”
In his 13th year of teaching Culinary 1 and 2, Harlan believes the new format to host the showcase in November is better than past years.
“[I have] always had juniors and seniors in classes that did not know about the great classes at the CACC [in] their freshman and sophomore year and [was not] able to take all the classes that they wanted,” Harlan said. “I think that this set up is great for giving future students the opportunity to see the variety of career pathways and classes available at the Columbia Area Career Center.”
By Grace Vance