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Business Observer Friday, Jul. 27, 2018 1 month ago

Sell the sizzle

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Bonita Bay Club’s Culinary Boot Camp serves up career experience to aspiring chefs.

No matter how they slice it, many industries and businesses are cooking up ways to attract young workers not bound for traditional secondary education.

Take Bonita Bay Club in Bonita Springs. It's got a proven recipe for cultivating the next generation of chefs, with its Culinary Boot Camp. 

Now in its third year, Estero High School culinary program students are guided by Chef Richard Brumm, the club’s director of culinary operations. Students Freddy Figueroa, Amy Hallifax, Kaitlyn Jacobson and Angel Jimenez were selected to participate in the intensive experience designed to capture the flavor of the life of a professional culinarian.

During four six-hour days, Brumm and his team of sous chefs introduced the students to practical kitchen management skills such as ordering, receiving and sanitation before progressing through sauce work, vegetable fabrication, garde manger and platter creation. Students also learned the basics of seafood, poultry and beef preparation.

“They can see first hand what working in the field is like and learn what to expect in terms of career progression,” says Brumm in a release about the program.

The program benefits Bonita Bay Club as a means to identify and develop new entry-level talent. Three students who participated in the camp’s inaugural year were offered full-time positions, for example, and have been part of the club’s culinary team for two years.

Culinary Boot Camp culminated with the club’s traditional Friday night buffet. After helping prepare a Creole-themed dinner for club members, the students received a certificate of completion and a professional chef’s knife to start their personal collection.

Brumm offers continuing guidance to students following their boot camp experience. This year, he helped coordinate an internship with a certified master chef for a boot camp graduate currently enrolled at Keiser University Center for Culinary Arts in Sarasota.

“It’s amazing to see young students discover their passion for the profession,” says Brumm. “We’re so happy to be able to help cultivate that talent at Bonita Bay Club.”

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