A new cooking program for public high school students is helping teenagers prepare for the industry with hands-on experience.

The Calgary Board of Education program is run from its Career and Technology Centre in the city's southwest and is connected to the Culinary Arts program at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology.

"They're learning skills and knowledge that will help them be more successful when they hit post-secondary and industry," said teacher and chef Sabrina del Ben.

"They've heard more about the reality of cooking from me and how to network and how to be successful for a longer period of time," said del Ben.

"The facility is unlike anything I've ever seen. I work in restaurants and we don't have equipment this nice," said Grade 12 student Ross Bowles.

Joey Porfoun says this program brought him back to high school.

"If you don't want to just cook, I mean, learn the other side of the restaurant industry where you're learning how to design a restaurant or knowing the food costs and stuff. If you want to go into the business side, I just think it's a great program and here we learn everything."

Students from eight schools are eligible to sign up for the program, which started two weeks ago.

The students who complete the program can receive advanced standing at SAIT.


High school students prepare food as part of a new program designed to give them a head start in the restaurant business. (CBC)