ove over burger and riesand hello, mussels in brodo.Something’s cooking inNorwich and it just may be one o our town’sbest-kept secrets.
Budding ches studying the culinary arts at Norwich echni-cal High School and Norwich Free Academy have been nding their way into the hearts and stomachs o school sta and ellow students or a while now. But who knew that the Public Din-ing Room at Norwich ech (aectionately called PDR) has aloyal ollowing including the local police, businesses and seniorgroups? Or that NFA’s Brickview Inn is a cool place to bring abusiness associate or visitors to the city?Culinary students at Norwich ech andNFA are training to dish out everything rom comort ood to diet-consciousmeals – and diet-busting desserts. Ateacher with only 20 minutes to spare orlunch, a student who craves a brownie, or a local business proes-sional who wants to break rom ast ood can all support the Warriors or Wildcats and be satised at a reasonable price.It’s a win-win – students get the skills they need or a career inthe ood service industry, and everyone else gets to dig in to thekids’ latest creations.
What’s cookin’ at tech
“Te most important thing is the rst impression,” says Che David Grzych, head o the culinary program at Norwich ech.“I we don’t nail it, they’re (customers) not coming back.”Excellence motivates the culinary students at tech, amid whatGrzych calls daily “controlled chaos” in the vocational school’s pristine, expansive kitchen and dining area. Grzych, a Culinary Institute o America alumnus, is a 25-year culinary veteran,including eight as a consultant or the State o Connecticut’sCentral Oce o 17 vocational programs. He developed Nor- wich ech’s culinary department in 2008, and along with chesScott Fitzgerald and Mario Longo, runs the program.Students in the 4-year culinary program handle 91 days o trade study — culinary arts, basic ood service, operating a res-taurant and advanced restaurant operations — combined with91 days o academics. Many continue on to pursueeven more culinary training at schoolssuch as Johnson and Wales.White tuxedo shirts, black pantsand black bow ties comprise the uniormor waiters in the Public Dining Room. In thekitchen, che whites, including a white t-shirt, double-breastedche coat, neckerchie and che hat is required. A pen, notebook and thermometer are also standard or routine morning inspec-tion. Te day starts at 7:30 a.m. with ood theory (learning about chutneys, compotes and jams, favorings, seasonings andspices), ollowed by menu production at 8:15 a.m. Te menuchanges daily, and includes two soups, salads, at least three
From let: Norwich Free Academy junior Ehi Ojieyan puts the fnishing touches on a birthday cake; Kristin Brodeur serves lunch at Norwich Tech; Timothya Kachmar, a senior at NFA.Previous pages: Norwich Tech junior Samantha Thomas pipes cream onto cheesecake; NFA senior Khaliah Davis (red shirt), Norwich Tech student Eddie Santiago (white coat).
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