By: Sharon Aron Baron
Culinary Students at JP Taravella High School have been selected to spend a week at the Georges-Frêche School of Hotel Management in France this January and so far they’ve raised $434 out of the $22,000 they need to attend.
The ProStart class led by Culinary & Hospitality Instructor Scott Goodman, is one of the premier culinary programs in Broward County, winning first place in Florida’s Annual ProStart competition in 2014, which allowed them to compete nationally.
Students that graduate from the program have gone on to the Culinary Institute of America and several students have gone straight to work for companies such as the Ritz Carlton, the Hard Rock Cafe, Michelle Bernstein and Cat Cora in Disney.
“It is an exciting opportunity for my students and I,” said Goodman. “To be selected by the superintendent to represent Broward County Schools is a huge honor and challenge. A lot of my students have – and will never have the chance to travel like this.”
Eight students will be flying to Paris on January 3 for eleven days. First, they will travel by train to the south of France to Montpellier, then will study at the school for a week. They are: Katherine Cohen, Sabrina Diaz, Ariel Grecia, Gloria Louis, Karla Montolio, Nicole Rivera, Dharimar Vasquez and Sean Woodcock.
Goodman said that when they arrive in France he hopes to expose them to new scenes, different culinary traditions and challenge their culinary talents.
“I also want to make this exchange one that all of the students will see is crucial in continuing their education in the culinary and hospitality arts,” he said.
The cost of making this trip, estimated to be $25,000, must to be raised by December. The students are currently working to raise funds by extended catering efforts and numerous onsite fundraising opportunities. The first big fundraiser will be held at The Cook & the Cork restaurant in Coral Springs on October 10. Additionally, The Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association has already donated $3,000.
They have set up an online program for supporters to help with their trip at PledgeCents Cause but still need the public’s help.
In an exchange, students from Georges-Frêche School visited and studied hospitality management with them last month.
“Our program has won countless awards, but in our field and business it is a “what have you done for me lately” concept,” said Goodman. “I want each year to be bigger and better than before – and as for this trip I think we are taking this program to another level of greatness.”