Madison College kitchen visit serves children recipe for life

Fourth-grade class gets glimpse of culinary career

What started as a simple handwritten letter in pencil from a fourth-grader turned into a learning experience for his entire class.

The students in Dawn Tews’s class at Horizon Elementary School in Madison were asked to choose a career they might be interested in and write a letter to a college offering education in that area.

“We want to be ready for middle school, and high school, and beyond,” Tews said.

Beyond for 10-year-old Bennett Fandek is in a kitchen working as a chef. He wrote his letter to Madison College’s culinary arts program. In the letter, he asked them to send him a postcard with information about their school.

Madison College kitchen visit serves children recipe for life

“Bennett’s letter was awesome. I mean, here was a young man that expressed how he wanted to be a chef,” said Chef Paul Short, chair of the culinary arts program.

Instead of sending Bennett a postcard, Short sent him a chef’s hat and apron. He also invited Bennett and his entire fourth-grade class to tour the new Madison College culinary arts facilities and have lunch.

It was a chance for the entire class to be exposed to career opportunities.

Madison College kitchen visit serves children recipe for life

“”It is kind of like the flap of a butterfly’s wing. Right now, these kids have never been here before,” Short said. “But I’ll bet you they will remember this experience and out of the group of kids, we might see five or 10 decide to go to culinary school and become chefs.”

Madison College kitchen visit serves children recipe for life

For Bennett, a kid who wants to someday be a contestant on the television show “Master Chef,” the visit to the kitchen confirmed his dream.

“This is definitely the place I want to go. Now that I’ve seen it, I definitely want to go here,” Bennett said.

Madison College kitchen visit serves children recipe for life