SARTELL -- There's something delicious cooking inside Sartell-St. Stephen High School.

The school's culinary arts program has been steadily growing since the classes were offered roughly six years ago. However, this year's offerings have been expanded thanks to a new commercial grade kitchen.

Family and Consumer Science Teacher Joseph Vanek says with the schools large culinary lab and a catering kitchen, their classes go much farther than your typical home economics courses.

We have it set up where each student has a different job such as the head chef, sous chef, dishwasher, so kind of that kitchen brigade system they use to give them a taste of the industry.

Vanek says for students it's more than just learning how to cook, but getting some hands on experience on the many career opportunities that are out there.

There is such a natural shortage in the industry of food and nutrition, so I think this is a great way for students to get introduced to that.

The curriculum is also making big strides as this fall the school will be Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) certified, a first for the school district.

So we will be able to compete at the state and national level if we make it. What's nice about FCCLA is it doesn't just do culinary arts, there is early childhood, business and a lot more that goes into it besides the culinary competitions.

Vanek says they have many ideas on how to continue grow their offerings and look forward to seeing more students interested in the culinary arts.

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