The Culinary Arts Program at Windy Hill Middle School hosted its annual Food Truck Challenge on April 13 in the school courtyard. It was the culmination of four months of planning that started upon the return to school following winter break. In all, a total of eight teams participated.
The event, designed to showcase students’ culinary skills, gave parents, family members and friends an opportunity to sample unique food and help choose a winner.
Students worked in groups to develop unique menus, outline the costs of their trucks and hold investor meetings with the administration team.
“They have to start from scratch to build their food truck business,” stated Kimberly Breeding, the teacher who leads the program, in an earlier news release. “They create their own name and logo, original food ideas, and research prices, licenses and permits.
“They have to cost out how much it would be to start up a business, write business plans and investor letters and create their own menus and employee handbooks,” Breeding further stated.
The students also created market surveys to determine which foods people would like to try. At the event, they served the top three items chosen from those surveys. Results will be presented at the Advanced Culinary 8th Grade Luncheon. (Once underway, the students chatted up customers, encouraging them to take the survey on the Chromebooks found at all eight tables and the entrance where food tickets were purchased.)
This year’s Food Truck Challenge —- its fifth — had the largest offerings yet. However, turnout was sparse and less than in past years. Regardless, students excitedly and nervously prepared for the night,including following COVID-19 protocols that have been implemented since the start of the pandemic.
Despite their nervousness, the students are certified food handlers, with some having already passed their National Registry Food Safety Professional Certification. The certification is good for five years and allows them early admittance into the Culinary Arts program at East Ridge High School, a program that normally only allows students in 10th grade or higher to apply.