The Cordon Cool Cooking School is a collaborative effort of the Next Step Academy and professionals in the restaurant industry to provide our students with cooking skills they need in regular life as well as the skills to be employed in the restaurant industry as adults. The Cordon Cool Cooking school is the first installation in a series of planned enterprises all designed to offer our students employment options.
Under the on-site guidance of local Houston chefs and other professionals in the food service industry, our students master the techniques of cutting, chopping, how to measure, how to follow recipes, mixing, working over a hot stove and oven, as well as the fine art of presentation, followed by learning how to serve, clean up and the importance of personal hygiene.
The extended vision of the Cooking School is that the students will create an onsite Cool Café, as well as the Cool Catering service, and will even create a garden staffed with master gardeners to grow produce that will be used in our recipes as well as offered to local farmers markets. We know that our dreams and visions for our students are as lofty as the clouds and as deep as the oceans and we also know they will become a reality.
It is the intention at the Next Step Academy that not only will these tools provide our students with critical skills they need to be productive members of the community, these extensions will provide employment to the students and become a much-needed revenue stream for the school so that more services can be provided to the population of special needs children.
The Cordon Cool Cooking School is happening NOW. Here’s what we plan for our students as the next logical steps in the VERY NEAR FUTURE:
- Cool Café – an onsite dining room open to the public and staffed by students. The menu will be designed and implemented by the students under the tutelage of outside restaurant professionals. Front of the house (serving and dealing with money) and back of the house operations (prepping, cooking and cleaning) will all be staffed with our students.
- Cool Kitchen – this is where students will work to come up with their own unique products, ie gluten-free blueberry bread, that can be packaged and sold to local farmers markets, restaurants and grocery stores. Students will come up with the products with help from outside restaurant and food industry professionals.
- Cool Catering – a full service catering operation staffed by students and available to serve the community.