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vhs culinary capstone class

Prior to the end of the school year, more than 50 of Ventura High School’s Capstone Food Service & Hospitality’s advanced culinary students had a unique and unforgettable experience under the direction of their teacher, Chef Kayla Hernandez.  They participated in our very first culinary dinner, which was used as their final project for the semester, and an evening of celebration recognizing twelve teachers retiring this year and some additional distinguished guests. The students were split into two positions: they were chosen to work in the kitchen or on service. Those who worked in the kitchen were divided into different stations, each representing one of the four courses served for dinner.

For weeks, the students practiced the different dishes and practiced learning how to communicate with guests and answer questions about the menu. In addition, VHS student musicians were on hand to add ambiance to the evening. Watching them execute their responsibilities at a level that a seasoned food service employee could do was magical.

One of the guests on hand that night was the owner and operator of Peirano’s on Main Street, Mr. Jim Rice, and his wife. After the meal, Mr. Rice invited all of the students who had served him to lunch at his restaurant to celebrate their hard work and dedication to their craft.

The pathway students enjoyed a three-course Peirano’s lunch and spent one last time together as the Ventura High School CTE Food Service and Hospitality graduating class of 2024. This special event not only marked the culmination of their rigorous training but also served as an opportunity for the students to experience a professional dining environment firsthand. The camaraderie and mutual support among the students were evident, highlighting the strong bonds they have formed over the years.

Chef Hernandez, herself a product of the Food Service and Hospitality pathway at Ventura High School, presented pathway completion certificates and green and white cords to the students to wear at graduation. Jim Rice, a strong supporter of Career Technical Education, expressed his pride in the students' achievements and encouraged them to continue pursuing their passions.

Congratulations to the Ventura High School CTE Food Service and Hospitality graduating class of 2024 on their accomplishments, and best wishes for their future endeavors! Many thanks to Jim Rice and Peirano’s team for supporting our students and Career Technical Education in Ventura Unified and for his continued partnership.





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