September 22, 2018

EPHS Culinary Arts and Cosmetology Programs Ready to Serve the Public!


Last year my daughter suggested that I write an article about the EPHS Culinary Arts program’s service to the public in their café. She is now a 10th grader, enrolled in the program offered at the Career Technical Center (CTC) located at East Providence High School. To be quite honest, I had no idea what this program was about. I may have assumed that it was simply a subject offered through the high school... boy was I ignorant!

The East Providence CTC serves students from East Providence, Barrington, Bristol and Warren. Students outside the region are eligible to apply if their program of choice is not offered at their regional career and technical center.

Since finding out about the Townie Pride Café, I have become a frequent visitor. The food is delicious, the staff is friendly and the kids are positive. They offer dining in their café as well as catering.  Then I learned about the Cosmetology program, amd now I look forward to having my hair washed, cut and dried by the students!

Members of our community who take advantage of these programs play an important role in contributing to these students’ education and potential futures. I look forward to finding out more about what the CTC offers and reporting them to the public in The East Providence Reporter.

Culinary Arts Grand Opening Tuesday, October 3rd!

“[The] East Providence Culinary Arts program prepares students for employment in the hospitality industry, the largest industry in America today. Instruction includes theory and applications related to: food preparation, food management, menu and banquet planning, food and beverage purchasing, quality control, cost analysis, commercial baking and pastry, catering, chef preparation, institutional foods, meat cutting, cooking methods, nutrition, safety, and sanitation. Students learn the safe and proper use of tools related to the industry. Practical experience is a major part of the course through the operation and management of a complete restaurant and catered banquet affairs.  Hands-on instruction includes food preparation techniques required in a variety of food service establishments.  Upon completion of the program, students will be prepared for entry-level positions in the food service industry or advanced study at a culinary institute or college.”  - CTC

Changes from last year include new Chef Instructor, Monet Chizmar and new Teaching Assistant, Natalie Kehlbeck. The students are closely supervised and guided by these new additions to the staff, alongside Chef Bill Walker.

Chef Walker graduated from Johnson and Wales University in 1990 with degrees in Culinary Arts and Foodservice Management. After ten years in the industry, Chef Walker returned to school to pursue a degree in Education. He has worked in education since 2001 and was the Executive Chef of both Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Boston and Salve Regina University in Newport, RI. He is a Fulbright Scholar and remains an active member of the American Culinary Federations (ACF) Rhode Island Chapter since 2000.

Chef Chizmar graduated from Johnson & Wales University with her Master’s Degree in Culinary Education. She has 4 years experience in the culinary industry and specializes in savory dishes.
Natalie Kehlbeck is a Culinary Arts and Food Service Management graduate from Johnson & Wales University and is in the process of attaining her Master’s Degree in Culinary Education. She has 8 years experience in the restaurant industry.

A new menu is also being presented this year and will feature 4 seasonal menus with almost all items made from scratch including; cheese, pickles, pastas, dressings and more. With this quarterly menu, each student will get an opportunity to work each station for every menu item featured. This new menu structure is more educationally sound and cost effective with less food waste. The students learn to work with seasonal ingredients and dishes to serve the best food when it’s at the peak of availability, highest quality and lowest price. The seasonal menu will also allow patrons to visit on several occasions presenting opportunities to try everything on the menu. It’s an all-around win!
Menu items include soups, sandwiches, salads and entrees priced at $3 - $7 and delicious desserts for only $3. The prices are a bargain, the portions are plenty and the food is excellent!

The Townie Pride Café, located in the CTC building is open to the public Wednesday – Friday from 11:15 AM – 12:30 PM while school is in session. Changes to the days may occur as school vacations approach or for other reasons. The best way to confirm that the café is open for business is to contact Culinary Arts by phone at (401) 383-6046, you can even take advantage of their call ahead seating.  Check out the Fall Menu!. Call for information about their customized catering made affordable.

Be sure to visit the Townie Pride Café for an affordable, enjoyable meal while giving back to the program and granting the students an opportunity to learn.

The Cosmetology Clinic Begins October 19th

“The Cosmetology program prepares individuals to care for and beautify hair, nails, and skin. Hair techniques taught include giving shampoos, rinses, scalp treatments, styling, setting, cutting, hair coloring and lightening, permanent waving and relaxing.  Skin techniques include facials and make up applications, while nail techniques include manicures, pedicures, artificial nail techniques, and hand and arm massages. Emphasis is placed on hygiene and sanitation, decontamination, and infection control. Related areas of instruction include bones, muscles, nerves, chemistry, product knowledge, customer relations, and salon management.  Fifteen hundred hours of instruction qualifies the student for Rhode Island hairdresser examination in the senior year of high school.” – CTC

Under the guidance and close supervision of instructors Linda Jackson, Debra Bjorklund and Robi-Anne Medeiros, students are trained and able provide services to patrons in their clinic located at the CTC. Only juniors and seniors can service the public through their weekly clinic.

Instructor Linda Jackson started the Cosmetology Program at the East Providence Career Technical Center in September 2008. Prior to launching the program, she taught in Newport for 19 years in same school where she graduated from the cosmetology program.

Debra Bjorklund obtained a Liberal Arts Degree from the Community College of RI and has 34 years of salon experience.

Robi-Anne Medeiros began working at The East Providence Career Technical Center in September 2016 and carries 24 years of experience.

A $12,000 grant to the program made it possible to purchase professional grade equipment including shears, flat irons and blow dryers. Two lines of hair color have also been added; Paul Mitchell & Matrix SO color.

Evaluation requests by clients will also been introduced. Honest feedback will help the students gain constructive advice and prepare them as they journey into the working world.

The staff invited me to have my hair washed, cut and dried. Cosmetology senior, Emily Viera gave me a deep professional wash, leaving my hair feeling and smelling clean. Erica Gonsalves began my cut which was finished by Instructor, Debra Bjorklund. Robi-Anne gave some final touches with natural looking highlights and a blow dry. I could not be happier with the results!

The clinic begins October 19th. Appointments are offered from 8 AM to 10:30 AM on various days and can be made starting October 6th by calling (401) 383-7187. The EPHS calendar can be viewed here. Check out the menu of services provided. Cost for these services range between $5-$10.

A fundraiser will be held on October 24th from 2:30 PM – 5:30 PM and will provide selected services to the public. Call for your appointment today!


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