Townie Pride Café Open to the Public!
By Michaela Oerman
The Culinary Arts Program at the East Providence High School is an excellent opportunity for students in grades 9 – 12 to learn the fundamentals and art of cooking. With this hands on program, students learn about the importance of hygiene, designing a seasonal food menu, preparing and cooking the food items, proper table and place settings, and maintaining a clean cooking environment. Furthermore, this program inspires a passion for cooking, offers a future potential career in Culinary Arts, and provides an important tool toward independent living. Now, under the guidance and supervision of Chef Bill Walker, Chef Marie-Claire McKillip with Chef Kelsey Sanders (technical assistant), these students are cooking up delicious dishes and serving them to patrons in their Townie Pride Café.
The Café is located in the Career and Technical Center building of the East Providence High School. Their seasonal menus will be posted on their website along with the order form and calendar of the days that they are open. Fridays are clam chowder and clam cake day when they are open.
The teachers and students were kind enough to allow us to come try several items off their Fall menu and it was delicious! Upon sitting down we were served chilled lemon water and warm, fresh baked bread with butter. To start, we had the Apple Butternut Squash Bisque which was a creamy fall soup with butternut squash & crisp apples in a rich vegetable stock, garnished with cinnamon sour cream and toasted pumpkin seeds. My one year old daughter who dined with us absolutely loved it. For my lunch, I had a buffalo chicken salad wrap that came with hand cut crispy sweet potato fries. My daughter had the Shephard's Pie and of course I had to have a bite. It was quite possibly the best I ever had! My friend and coworker had the Fall Harvest Salad with chicken, which was mixed greens, roasted butternut squash, pomegranate, goat cheese with a balsamic vinaigrette. She really enjoyed the salad and said it very fitting for the season. After lunch we were treated to a tasting of the desserts on the menu: Pumpkin Cannoli, Coconut Macaroons, and the Apple crisp. The desserts were rich, delectable and to die for. We were so impressed with the quality of food as well as the presentation and service. The menu offers something for everyone, including you pick two options and having gluten free as well as vegetarian options. All the proceeds go back into the program and any greatly appreciated tips go into a pool to fund field trips.
All the students were enthusiastic about learning and displayed energetic and positive attitudes during our visit. I was happy to see such an extensive program available to them and also to know what delicious lunch you can get for a great price! Please refer to our dining guide on page 57 for the fall menu. The winter menu will be available after Thanksgiving break. More information can be found on their website at https://eastprovidencectc.com/program-offerings/culinary-arts/townie-pride-cafe/
This is just one of the many programs that The Career & Technical Center offers. They also have Automotive Technology, Computer Science, Construction Technology, Forensic Science, Graphic Communications, Marine Biology, and Health Occupations. Through these programs, the students really get a jump start on their future in a field they are passionate about.