The NHS Culinary Program thrives after more than forty years

Devin Rager and Jacob Thompson

The Naugatuck High School Culinary Program, headed by Mrs. Diane Doherty, offers a vast variety of cooking experiences to students, who are interested in possibly pursuing a cooking career.

Students enrolled in Culinary 1 start off by hitting the books. They learn basic terms, kitchen and food safety, as well as basic cooking methods.

These beginner students start off cooking for themselves during lab days. They enjoy trying their creations in the new restaurant,the Garnet & Grey Gourmet. Later in the year, the students cook for the teachers, who send in their order preferences twice a week.

The Culinary 2 class, exclusive to upperclassmen, continues an advance study in culinary arts.

“Students in Culinary 2 are in the program to further their education and maybe make a career of it,” said Doherty.

Weekly, students leave the building to go shopping and get the full experience of being a chef and running a restaurant. These cooking experts supervise the newer students and improve on their expertise.

The Culinary students create a menu from scratch and cater to the teachers twice a week. For example, this week’s menu offers: orange chicken over rice, salisbury steak with mushrooms, and homemade manicotti.

Students will cook and deliver these meals to teachers to enjoy during lunch.

” [The food is] very good. That’s why I order them pretty much every day,” said Mr. David Ciskowski, a math teacher and a customer for the last five years.

Students who look to further their culinary arts also compete in competitions, such as the Connecticut Chefs Challenge. Naugatuck High School has earned many trophies this way. They are displayed outside the restaurant

Naugy’s culinary program started in the early 70’s.Doherty came in 1986 taking over the program and has headed it since. The program has become one of the most popular and highly sought after classes in the school.