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November 28, 2013

Pinkerton culinary students enjoy chef visits

Chef to School program pairs students, chefs

DERRY — Pinkerton Academy culinary arts students have the right recipe for success in the kitchen.

Bring in a professional chef to show valuable techniques and it’s the right mix for a future career.

Pinkerton hosted its second “Chef to School” program last week, joining a working chef with culinary students for a day of teaching, learning, food preparation and inspiration.

Chef Nicole Barreira, corporate chef with Great NH Restaurants, was the featured guest chef.

Great NH Restaurants has been involved with Pinkerton’s culinary program since it began several years ago. Barreira said she was happy to help students who dream of cooking after high school ends.

“These are skills we need the rest of our lives,” she said.

Barreira earned her culinary degrees at Southern New Hampshire University and has worked with Great NH Restaurants for eight years.

She said students did well, learning the fine details of grating, slicing, dicing and shredding as they prepared vegetables for the evening’s salad course.

“There is lots to be learned,” Barreira told students.

The working culinary arts program joins other Career and Technical Education programs at the high school, including engineering, animal science, cosmetology, welding, manufacturing and finance.

Pinkerton’s culinary curriculum offers students three classes for 90 minutes a day, but many spend much more time in the kitchen.

Graduates also leave Pinkerton with a good start, certified to go on to higher education and food studies.

Bringing in local professionals adds another dimension to the kitchen environment.

“This is one of the coolest ideas we’ve stumbled upon,” said Jack Grube, Pinkerton’s CTE program director. “The chef teaches a lot and the meal is incredible.”

During Barreira’s day on campus, she had students prepare winter pork tenderloin, butternut squash soup, and a baked apple crumble dessert with caramel sauce

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