MCCTC culinary program in "elite" company - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

MCCTC culinary program in "elite" company

Posted:
CANFIELD, Ohio -

For the third year in a row, the culinary program at the Mahoning County Career and Technical Center earned a spot on Sullivan University's "Elite 50" list.

Ten years ago Matt Putzier took a chance, leaving the restaurant business to teach the restaurant business at MCCTC.

"It's just kind of cool because it's the same turnover of a product. In the kitchen you're turning over food, customers and all the other stuff. Here, you're doing the same thing with students," said Putzier, a culinary instructor at MCCTC.

For the last three years, those students have set the bar pretty high, earning the program a spot on Sullivan University's "Elite 50" list as one of the top programs in the country.

"We really try to get the kids hands-on, real-world experience," said instructor Christl DeNiro. "It's not like a simulated work-place or anything like that. We try to get them into the food service industry in all aspects, all areas as quickly as possible when they come here."

Exposing them to different kinds of cuisine is just the beginning.

"Most of them, they eat at Taco Bell. That's their exposure to food," said DeNiro.

"At first I was really into BBQ. Now that I've been out here I'm getting more into the higher-end things," said senior Melissa Ramirez.

Very different experiences inside the same program, too. On one side, you're preparing food for literally hundreds of people.

"In the cafeteria, they get to do large volume cooking and serve an industrial sort of setting," said DeNiro.

You walk out through the kitchen and it's literally a restaurant, serving lunch service just like any other restaurant in the area.

"For half of your school year, you're working in a restaurant. You're doing the same thing that's happening down the street in the middle of Canfield with the restaurants, and Boardman and everything like that," said Putzier.

"It's awesome because I get to practice being in a real restaurant, but I'm still learning at the same time," said senior Erica Shirilla.

"You got to be able to kind of think on your feet. All those critical thinking skills that you have to do in the industry all the time, that's happening right here. We couldn't do it without the live customers," said Putzier.

"I love that when I'm serving and I'm out there, customers will tell me 'Oh my gosh it was so good. I can't believe you are all students'," said Ramirez.

Students that could very well be running their own restaurant in the not-so-distant future.

  • More From wfmj.comHot ClicksMore>>

  • Caller told FBI Florida shooting suspect 'going to explode'

    Caller told FBI Florida shooting suspect 'going to explode'

    Sunday, February 25 2018 12:30 PM EST2018-02-25 17:30:25 GMT
    (Mike Stocker/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP). Margarita Lasalle, a bookkeeper and Joellen Berman, a guidance data specialist, look at a memorial Friday, Feb. 23, 2018 as teachers and school administrators returned to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High S...(Mike Stocker/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP). Margarita Lasalle, a bookkeeper and Joellen Berman, a guidance data specialist, look at a memorial Friday, Feb. 23, 2018 as teachers and school administrators returned to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High S...
    A woman close the man charged with killing 17 people at a Florida high school warned the FBI he had rifles and said, "I know he is going to explode.".More >>
    A woman close the man charged with killing 17 people at a Florida high school warned the FBI he had rifles and said, "I know he is going to explode.".More >>
  • After years of dejection, proponents of gun laws see hope

    After years of dejection, proponents of gun laws see hope

    Sunday, February 25 2018 12:09 PM EST2018-02-25 17:09:14 GMT
    (Michael Laughlin/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP, File). FILE - This Feb. 21, 2018 file photo shows Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student Cameron Kasky, left, asking a question to Sen. Marco Rubio during a CNN town hall meeting in Sunrise, Fl...(Michael Laughlin/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP, File). FILE - This Feb. 21, 2018 file photo shows Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student Cameron Kasky, left, asking a question to Sen. Marco Rubio during a CNN town hall meeting in Sunrise, Fl...
    "Our kids have started a revolution:" Teens' activism after Florida school shooting has some hopeful for action on gun policy.More >>
    "Our kids have started a revolution:" Teens' activism after Florida school shooting has some hopeful for action on gun policy.More >>
  • Billy Graham's body arrives at namesake library

    Billy Graham's body arrives at namesake library

    Sunday, February 25 2018 9:07 AM EST2018-02-25 14:07:06 GMT
    (AP Photo/Nell Redmond, File). FILE - In this Dec. 20, 2010 file photo, evangelist Billy Graham, 92, speaks during an interview at the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association headquarters in Charlotte, N.C. Graham, who died Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018, at h...(AP Photo/Nell Redmond, File). FILE - In this Dec. 20, 2010 file photo, evangelist Billy Graham, 92, speaks during an interview at the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association headquarters in Charlotte, N.C. Graham, who died Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018, at h...
    The Rev. Billy Graham's body will be brought to his hometown of Charlotte on Saturday as part of a procession expected to draw crowds of well-wishers.More >>
    The Rev. Billy Graham's body will be brought to his hometown of Charlotte on Saturday as part of a procession expected to draw crowds of well-wishers.More >>
Powered by Frankly
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2018 WFMJ. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms