Photo by James Anderson
Culinary Arts classes are offered as an elective at Mamaroneck High School. This elective has been offered for many years, but few students have taken advantage of it in past years. However, the culinary arts course has recently become more popular. It is currently taught by Chef Luff whom we spoke to about this practical four year elective.
Mr. Luff started out working in small restaurants, doing everything from sweeping floors to cleaning pots. He later went to culinary arts school. From there, he worked in hotels and restaurants and finally decided he wanted to share his knowledge and teach cooking to up and coming chefs like MHS students.
In his class students learn basic skills, including safety precautions, in order to become familiar with the kitchen environment. According to Chef Luff, “students learn everything from basic safety to butchering meat. They also learn about the nutritional aspects of preparing meals.” These lessons prove invaluable for those who are just cooking at home or for those who go on to pursue a career in cooking. After the introductory class, which is a year long course, students can move on to learn about different international specialties. Chef Luff explained, “The first course is basic, but the next year of culinary arts is all about food in different cultures.” His favorite food to cook is Asian food, such as fried rice and stir fry.
Everyone knows when the culinary arts classes are in session; the aromas wafting out of the Palmer kitchen are impossible to ignore. On one recent afternoon, we found the class baking holiday cookies for the passing teachers and students. Many culinary arts students were excited to take part in this festive event. The recipients were also in high spirits.
At MHS there are approximately 100 students now enrolled in the Culinary Arts program. Mr. Luff believes that kids really enjoy being in his classroom because of the freedom to choose which types of cuisine they cook on a daily basis. He encourages everyone to take this class if they have any interest in learning an essential skill you need.
By Lizzy Kaplan and Sabrina Seltzer