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Culinary & Baking students learn from the experts at KeyBank Center

Erie 1 BOCES Culinary student Joe Amato of Tonawanda cuts chicken while KeyBank Center Sous Chef Shawn Glieco looks on.Nearly 80 high school students from the Erie 1 BOCES Culinary and Baking & Pastry Arts programs got the chance to learn from the experts during the 2019 Culinary Career Day in January.

Students traveled to the Lexus Club at KeyBank Center in downtown Buffalo for four workshops: Cooking 101 - Chicken Fabrication; Modern Cooking: Sustainability, Seafood & Plant Forward; Baking & Pastry; and a presentation by Delaware North, the host for Culinary Career Day.

Students from all three Erie 1 BOCES career and technical centers (Harkness, Kenton and Potter) attended the event, which allowed them to explore potential career paths. They were able to particiapte in the workshops by cutting chicken and helping put together a plant-based dish, for example. American Culinary Federation (ACF) professional chefs and culinarians from Delaware North led each workshop.

Each of the three CTE centers then competed in a friendly cook-off (for the Culinary students) and cake-decorating competition (for the Baking students). Harkness students Lexi Cramer of Akron and Hunter Yager of Lancaster emerged victorious in the cook-off, while Kenton student Emily Cascio of Kenmore West took first place for the decorating competition.

As part of the day, the students took a behind-the-scenes tour of KeyBank Center's culinary operations. Culinary and hospitality college representatives were also on hand for students to speak with.

Culinary Career Day began in 2012 as a collaboration between Erie 1 BOCES and community partners and has evolved every year since. It provides a chance for high school seniors to see the many facets of employment opportunities at Delaware North, which has a major footprint in Western New York.

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