The Bonney Lake and Sumner communities will have an opportunity to taste some succulent food Thursday night, when the Bonney Lake High School advanced culinary arts class presents a three-course meal in partnership with Seattle-based executive chef Russell Lowell.
“I love when kids plan, cook and serve a meal and watching that all come together,” said Kahale Ahina, the high school’s culinary arts teacher. “And I enjoy seeing the satisfaction on the customers’ faces.”
Since 2005, when the high school opened, the culinary arts program has been a high-demand career pathway within the school’s family and consumer sciences courses. The two-year program begins with an introductory course to culinary arts, and it advances into food preparation and cooking and preparing meals for events.
Students also are taught methods of customer relations, accounting, food-cost controls and marketing.
Ahina, who has taught the program for seven years, brings real-world experience and a network of relationships with culinary leaders.
“I enjoy meeting people that are in the industry,” Ahina said. “I have food reps that come in and talk to students about different foods. It’s interactive. Students can taste the food. All these relationships allow us a lot of opportunities.”
For example, Ahina took six students from his class this year to help 30 vendors at the Food Services of America Food Show at the Washington State Convention Center in Seattle.
Ahina got his start with Lowell in 1994, when he worked for Lowell’s catering business. He reached out to Lowell and invited him to partner with his class to present a meal to the public.
Lowell is the executive chef at The Garden Cafe at Molback’s in Woodinville and Russell’s in Bothell.
The advanced culinary arts class, with 17 students, will prepare and serve the meal. Half the class will work the kitchen, and the other half will be in the front of the house, serving and ensuring customers are satisfied, Ahina said.
Allison Kelly and Tyler Lagozzino are two seniors who are excited to prepare the meal. Both admit they were lost in the mix of high school, trying to decide what to do. But they stumbled on culinary arts, and they decided to take it on because they felt like they knew their way around a kitchen.
“I cook dinner every night at home,” Kelly said.
Kelly is a hostess at Applebee’s on state Route 410 and plans to work her way up the ladder. She also is involved in Bonney Lake High School’s culinary arts club, which competes annually at state competitions.
Lagozzino is confident in his cooking ability.
“I’ve always been good at cooking,” he said. “I enjoy cooking breakfast. I can whip up a mean omelette.”
Lagozzino also is a member of the culinary arts club and plans to attend Renton Technical College to pursue a career in culinary arts. He said he enjoys the experimentation part of cooking.
“I’ve learned how easy it is to go in the kitchen and wing it,” Lagozzino said. “You can take a bunch of things and throw it together and see if it works.”
If you go
The dinner will be served from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Thursday at Bonney Lake High School, 10920 199th Ave. Court E. Tickets are $25 and pre-sold. No tickets will be sold at the door.
To purchase tickets, call Bonney Lake High School at 253-891-5700. All of the proceeds will support the cost of a career field trip for the advanced culinary arts class.
Appetizer: Roasted tomato bisque soup with duck confit and creme anglaise
Entree: Pan roasted garlic chicken with butter herb sauce, butternut squash puree, garlic mashed potatos
Dessert: Chocolate gateau with creme en glaze and caramel