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Newport Middle School eighth-graders show their excitement at experimenting with various sauces Friday during Farm to Table in the Carteret Community College Hospitality and Culinary Arts Center. (Cheryl Burke photo)

MOREHEAD CITY — A group of county middle school students got some early culinary inspiration for Thanksgiving during a unique program presented Friday at Carteret Community College.

The college presented Farm to Table to about 80 eighth-graders who rotated among five stations designed to take students through various aspects of food preparation. Students learned about plant and seafood production and created delectable dishes like egg rolls and glazed donuts.

Although traditional Thanksgiving dishes weren’t included in the experience, students like Morehead City Middle School eighth-grader Charli Sommer said it got her excited about helping in the kitchen during the upcoming holiday.

“I love cooking and baking,” she said. “I hope I can try something for my family on Thanksgiving. I know I love pumpkin.”

Kathy Bernstein, middle school career development coordinator, said the purpose of the day was to expose students to potential future careers and the education required to get there. Students filled out career interest surveys earlier in the year, and those attending Friday had expressed interest in culinary, aquaculture and related fields.

Beaufort Middle School guidance counselor Christine Cox said bringing students to the campus for various career days was a great way to get students thinking about their futures.

“We’re hoping it will spark some interest and help them make decisions for high school,” Cox said. “It also encourages them to have good grades and attendance so they can experience some of these things.”

Students toured the CCC Hospitality and Culinary Arts Center, where they baked and decorated glazed donuts and created egg rolls and sauces. They also went through the CCC horticulture greenhouse and learned about soil preparation and growing various herbs. They then helped retrieve and measure live fish in the aquaculture building, as well as learned about growing various shellfish and ornamental fish.

Down East Middle School eighth-grader Leah Williams said she enjoyed the day, and it gave her a lot to think about.

“I love food, and I like cooking,” she said. “I probably liked making the egg rolls the best.”

Broad Creek Middle School eighth-grader Deanna Stancill said she was excited about touring the culinary building.

“My dad went to the college and took culinary arts,” she said. “Me and my dad like to cook together.”

Broad Creek Middle School eighth-grader Javier Robles was more interested in aquaculture.

“I thought it would be fun to experience the wildlife we always see here along the coast,” he said. “I like to work with the fish a lot. I would like to do something like this.”


Contact Cheryl Burke at 252-726-7081, ext. 255; email; or follow on Twitter @cherylccnt.


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