Students at Burnaby Central Secondary can learn the fine art of cooking, while earning credits towards graduation.
The school's ACE-IT culinary arts program, led by chief instructor Stephen Wade, gives teens an edge in the food industry once they graduate.
Students work in the kitchen for a year, four days a week for five-and-a-half hours.
They study cooking and cooking theory, after they've finished their regular schoolwork.
"After that year, they get credits, for not only their Dogwood certificate - their regular high school graduation - but they also have the opportunity to pass level one for Red Seal chef or Red Seal cooks training. When they finish the program they can either go on to work in restaurants, or (go to) Vancouver Community College and those kind of places for more instruction," said program instructor Stephen Wade.
The ACE-IT culinary arts program has 20 students, who work in the kitchen, preparing food for banquets and outside catering clients. The school also runs a public restaurant out of one of the classrooms on Tuesday nights.
This Saturday, the Rotary Club of Burnaby is hosting an international dining fundraiser, with dishes prepared by the ACE-IT students.
There will be stations for each type of cuisine - Caribbean, African, Indian, Chinese, Ukrainian and Greek - and each station will have a few samples.
The Caribbean section will have non-alcoholic ginger beer, callaloo soup and Jamaican jerk chicken, for example, and the Greek dishes will be spinach pie, tzatziki and beef stifado.
Students will also help sell tickets for the May 4 event. The evening will mostly be people milling about, with food samples and entertainment, according to Augustus Cruickshank, public relations chair for the club.
The event is from 6 to 10 p.m. Tickets are $35, and proceeds go to Rotary.
The Rotary Club of Burnaby is one of three local Rotary clubs and has 42 members, mostly people in the business community. For more information, go to www.rotaryburnaby.org. For tickets, call Cruickshank at 604-916-3077.
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