There’s been a buzz coming out of the cafeteria of Tec Voc high school. The culinary arts program has been cooking up a storm at Café Hornet and helping students get on the right track to a future career in the kitchen. With a high contingent of students being Filipino, it was only a matter of time before they offered Filipino cuisine serving up the likes of lengua, longanisa, and tocino. The food isn’t the only thing being churned out by the program. Future Filipino chefs with aspirations to be the next Gordon Ramsay get a chance to prepare themselves as the program gives credit towards the first year at a culinary arts program in college.
Jerome Castro went to Tec Voc seven years ago and even since his high school days, the culinary arts program has been helping out future chefs. He now finds himself as the educational assistant of the program and runs the Twitter and Instagram accounts for Café Hornet. He says that Café Hornet is like any other restaurant serving different menu items in a fast paced environment.
“The atmosphere changes,” Castro states. “It depends on how busy we are. It can be really laid back or can be really busy like today.”
Aside from the high school students that take the course, Tec Voc allows people outside the high school to join the culinary arts program. In their last intake, nine out of the ten students from off the street were Filipino. Two cousins, Ana Mary Enriquez and Jessa Carmina Enriquez, came to Canada in 2012 and are now developing their skills in the program for a possible career in the restaurant industry. The program has shown them the proper way to do tasks such as cutting food properly, measuring accurately and cooking the right way. Prior to their acceptance in the program, the two had little to no experience in the kitchen but hope they can translate their experience into another opportunity.
“Just at home,” Jessa said in reference to her experience in the kitchen. “What’s next? Apprenticeship, hopefully”.
Café Hornet has set the bar for what cafeteria food could be and the culinary arts program has opened the door to students like Ana Mary and Jessa Enriquez giving them a chance to develop their skills in the kitchen. Maybe one day, they will be running their own kitchen serving up their own take on popular dishes.