Multiculturalism Through Foods Program

By A. Heggie, Chef Instructor

The " Multiculturalism Through Foods" Job Training Program is a segment of the Commerial foods curriculum designed to enhance the learning experience of culinary arts students. The program has adopted the philosophy of other traditionally vocational programs in the country. The philosophy states "the Commercial Food Service Program is essential to our American Educational System because of the ever increasing demand for skilled food technicians. This program will hopefully cause behavioral changes in students, resulting into the acquisition of salable skills. The Commercial Foods Service Program will promote the development of desired attitudes towards health, safety, and business ethics. The students will develop an increased sensitivity to the dignity of work and will, as a result, impart status to the occupation and the entire food service establishment.

In addition to skill development, learning experiences are provided for students to develop the traits of citizenship and leadership, giving youths dignity and respect for themselves and the acquired skills. Successful completion of the program provides a definite sense of identity, based upon goals which have been reached." This philosophy stated by the DJ Howard Vocational Center in Winchester, Virginia has been adopted by Concord High School in Staten Island, NY to better improve the quality of vocational type programs in a alternative high school setting.

The "Multiculturalism Through Foods" Job training Program is a program that was created and coordinated by Aletha P. Heggie in 1996 at Thomas Jefferson High school in Brooklyn, NY an academic high school. During the design on the program, the state-initiated school to work initiative was built into the program. In addition to traditional service activities as outlined by the state curriculum students learn valuable job acquisition and retention skills. Students investigate the career world of Food Service. They learn Resume Writing, Interviewing and Job Search skills. The program is a double period class. During the spring semester of the Commercial Food Service Program students engage in a rigorous review of basic food fundamentals and preparation. Students in the spring semester are generally continuing from the fall. They have acquired basic skills and are ready to move on to advanced cooking and baking skills, advanced dining room skills, marketing and journalism projects. As an enhancement to the current curriculum students participate in the "Multiculturalism through Foods Program".
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The Purpose of the Program is to teach entry level culinary arts skills. This includes back and front of the house operations, marketing and management skills, word processing and research skills through the exploration of various cultures cuisine's and dining habits, students who participate in the program experience a hands-on approach, as well as, a theoretical approach to the world of foods.









About the Instructor, By Kevion Lewis,

Thomas Jefferson HS Class of '97,

February 1997

This year I am a senior. Three years ago I felt I would never make it this far. When I first came to Jeff I really didn't have any interest in school and graduation for me did not seem like a reality, until I met Ms. Heggie. I tell her this all the time, Without you I wouldn't have made it this far". Her reply is a light chuckle and says "It's not me. it's you". I know I have changed my ways, but due to her presence in my life I feel better about myself and I have a dream. Ms. Heggie is a wonderful example for every young person. she is somewhat close to us in age , she has shown us alot can be achieved in a short period of time. Ms. Heggie has worked in the food service industry since she was 15 years old. She has worked every position in a restaurant and has even worked in the catering industry. Before coming to Jefferson she worked as a manager for red Lobster Seafood Restaurant in various locations throughout New York and New Jersey. Ms. Heggie is a graduates of Johnson and Wales University in Providence, RI. she has an A.O.S. in culinary arts and a Bachelor's Degree in Hotel/Restaurant?Institutional Management. would you believe she finished her first degree at 18. With her education and work experience Ms. Heggie has made her classroom educational yet fun. she is a dedicated and commited Teacher and a great person to be around She hen a oitv influence in my life.

Thank you, Ms. Heggie!!!

�2003 Aletha P. Heggie Concord High School HomeCulinaryTechnologyClass Contract