ROCKLAND – This fall, Mid-Coast School of Technology Principal Bobby Deetjen challenged all teachers to reach out and connect their classes with someone from their industry outside of the state of Maine. . This is in an effort to link more to the work-based learning model.

The work-based learning model includes the alignment of classroom and workplace learning, the application of academic, technical and employability skills in a workplace and the support of in-class mentors or in a working environment.

Shelby Stevens, a bakery and pastry teacher, took matters into her own hands and emailed four bakeries across the country. With no previous relationship, she hoped to hear from a bakery that would be willing to collaborate with her. Her inspiration for her relationships comes from a few of her favorite cookbooks right now.

One of the cookbooks is “Flour: Spectacular Recipes from Boston’s Flour Bakery + Cafe,” by Joanne Chang. Flour is a Boston-based, high-production, American-style bakery with nine locations in the city. Chef Steven’s favorite recipe from the book is “Sticky Sticky Bun,” one of Flour’s signature menu items. Pastry Chef / Owner, Joanne Chang can be found competing on Throwdown with Bobby Flay on the Food Network.

Another source of inspiration was Lisa Ludwinski’s “Sister Pie” cookbook. Ludwinski is the owner of Sister Pie and is based in a small bakery in Detroit, Michigan. Chef Stevens really loves this cookbook because it’s a good fall pie book, and every fall she finds herself looking for it in the store. Plus, this bakery uses a lot more of the alternative grains it tries to expose its courses to. “I’m always excited to find something new to work with and I love to show it to my students as well,” Stevens said.

The two bakeries immediately reached out to Stevens, offering tours and a presentation to his classes. Stevens was happy that the two bakeries were represented as they contrast sharply with one being high volume production versus a small neighborhood bakery. Jake Bruneau-Richardson, of Flour’s production kitchen for the nine locations, graciously gave a Zoom tour of the facility and an idea of ​​the volume of product they use daily. Meanwhile, Ludwinski was happy to show the students, via Zoom, his cooking space and introduced his staff along the way.

Stevens says she hasn’t finished. She plans to continue reaching out to bakeries across the country to show her students what’s out there when it comes to baking styles, business styles, as well as various jobs within the industry. Eventually, when she is available, she would also like to take her students to visit some of the regional bakeries to not only see the facilities, but also attend demonstrations and taste the products. She would also like to link these links to various post-secondary pathways to access these jobs, including visiting colleges.

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