Kingman High School has been at it for years, and now Kingman Middle School is joining in on the culinary experience.
Beginning this semester, KMS began teaching kids to cook. Under the guidance of culinary arts teacher and former chef Jamie Tapley, more than 80 sixth through eighth grade students will leave the nine-week course knowing how to cook something more than Hot Pockets and microwave burritos.
“I have a waiting list,” Tapley said. “The kids are excited. So are the parents. The classroom was packed during parents’ night.”
The class will introduce kids to basic kitchen skills such as food safety, sanitation, nutrition and the use of cooking utensils that will be useful in both the professional world and the home. They practiced with knives and picked up some chopping skills on Tuesday.
What used to be a home economics classroom and storage den has been turned into six kitchens complete with new stoves, exhaust hood, sinks and prep tables. Also included are closets and cabinets for pots, pans, cooking utensils, aprons, hairnets and cooking ingredients.
“We’re starting from the ground up,” Tapley said. “By next year I’d like to see an advanced culinary class and possibly a cooking club.”
Aside from the new equipment purchased through a tiny portion of Kingman Unified School District’s budget, there is one microwave in the classroom – for display purposes only.
“They don’t touch it,” Tapley said.
On the first day of class, she asked her students how many eat “from a box, microwave or freezer.” Almost every kid’s hand went up. With the…
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