The Herald-Times

Ivy Tech ‘College for Kids’ teaches them how to cook, budget

By Derek J. Amaya
331-4356 |

June 30, 2012

Grilled chicken, turkey burgers and chocolate mousse are prepared straight from the kitchen next door and served in the conference room for diners to enjoy.

The food is prepared by middle and high school students in the Ivy Tech kitchen for the “College for Kids” cooking session, but resembles what you’d find in any popular restaurant.

Chef Jeffrey Tabor, program chairman for Hospitality Administration, taught the students how to cook, budget money for food and nutritional facts about the food they cook

“We focused on the fundamental skills,” he said. “We showed them different ways to cook eggs, bacon, pizza and chocolate mousse.”

The weeklong session ended Friday with the students preparing a lunch for their parents.

“I was really impressed,” Tabor said. “Today was more independent for them. They did not have as much direction from us. They did great.”

Harrison Cox, a participant in the program, said he learned a lot and hopes to be able to cook for his mom.

“I learned how to chop things,” he said. “I learned how to grill chicken, beef and different poultry.”

Sheri Cox, his mother, said she is excited to see what he will cook for her and see what he has learned.

“It’s not only cooking skills; it’s life skills,” she said. “Once they go to college, they can use the skills they learned like budgeting money. It’s important for them to know that.”

Susie Graham, director of the Center for Lifelong Learning at Ivy Tech, added independence is something kids want and the program is a way for them to experience some independence.

“What we’ve done this week will be a springboard for additional programs,” she said. “Clearly there was a demand for this. The 15 students filled up quickly, and we had a waiting list.”

At the end of the day, the parents of the students were pleased with what had been prepared for them and served to them. And for some, it won’t be the last time they’ll enjoy their child’s culinary creations. Some students said they hope to one day be future chefs.

“I’m happy I came,” said Harrison Cox. “I learned a lot.”

Copyright: 2012

About Ivy Tech Community College

Ivy Tech Community College is Indiana's largest public postsecondary institution and the nation's largest singly accredited statewide community college system, accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Ivy Tech has campuses throughout Indiana and also serves thousands of students annually online. It serves as the state's engine of workforce development, offering associate degrees, long- and short-term certificate programs, industry certifications, and training that aligns with the needs of the community. The College provides a seamless transfer to other colleges and universities in Indiana, as well as out of state, for a more affordable route to a bachelor's degree.