By Brittany Martini
Everyone knows the saying “a lot can happen in a year”, and the Mashpee Middle High School ProStart program is a prime example.
The Mass Restaurant Association ProStart program brings the food service industry and classroom together to offer high school students a platform to discover new interests and talents, while opening doors to fulfilling careers. With the the teamwork of department head Mike Looney and culinary teacher Chef Lisa Holmes a lot has been accomplished. With donations from the Mass Restaurant Association and an upcoming fundraiser at Trevi Cafe the culinary department is on the road to success.
According to Mr. Looney, “Last year we (Mike Looney and Chef Lisa Holmes) reached out to the Mass Restaurant Association to bring in new Prostart curriculum. This lead to further conversations regarding the renovations and updating the culinary department. Throughout last year we worked along side the MRA in securing donations from its membership for the culinary program. The 99 Restaurant donated ten tables and forty chairs for our newly formed Falcon Cafe, which was formerly known as the teachers lounge. Over the summer the Mashpee DPW replaced all counter tops to stainless steel and also installed a door between the Culinary room and the Falcon Cafe. I also reached out to Crane Appliance and purchased a new refrigeration and freezer at a reduced cost for the culinary room.”
Chef Holmes has done a lot on her end too. “When I got here there was no curriculum, I have created it for five courses. There was no work tables, so the whole setup of the room is different now. We make all the dishes from scratch, compared to before.”
On Tuesday May 17, Trevi Cafe and Wine Bar located in Mashpee Commons is hosting a fundraiser, with all proceeds going to MMHS ProStart Program. The ProStart students will also get hands-on experience in the restaurant and hospitality industries. According to Trevi, the students will assist industry professionals in preparing the food, hosting, and serving.
ProStart student Cecelia Piermattei, is looking forward to this opportunity, “Experiencing how different the stress level is with a real restaurant and the lunch ins we do. And experience the atmosphere of a restaurant.” Now all students have the opportunity to benefit from the new ProStart Program.