PVHS Culinary Arts Students Visit Olive Garden Restaurant

PVHS Culinary Arts

Two of PVHS Culinary Arts 2 classes recently took field trips to Santa Maria’s Olive Garden for a first- hand look at how a restaurant handles food production to help them prepare and earn a ServSafe Food Handlers Certificate.

The certificate, which is valid for three years, involves an exam about a variety of important safety standards that must be followed in the kitchens of food establishments, according to Panther Culinary Arts – Family and Consumer Science Teacher Jenn Montanez.

At Olive Garden, students were able to watch how the prep cooks make their soups and sauces from scratch and use ServSafe food safety standards, observe the restaurant, and inspect for required food safety elements. The tour was led by Olive Garden’s General Manager Leonard Rodriguez who has been with the company for 24 years. Afterwards, students were treated to lunch with Olive Garden’s Spaghetti, salad, and breadsticks.

“Going to Olive Garden gave me a perspective on how a food establishment works. Seeing how the kitchen functions was a nice perk and learning how to work with customers was great for social skills.” - Carlos Bustamante Fierro 12th grade.

Pioneer Valley has partnered with Olive Garden for nearly 6 years now and we are so thankful they give our students a chance to experience what an industry kitchen can do,’’ Montanez added. “On a given day, Olive Garden can serve 700-1,400 guests so being able to witness what it takes to serve that capacity is amazing. I appreciate that students have a better understanding of the ServSafe standards after our visit.”

The SMJUHSD has about 40 Career Technical Education (CTE) Pathways and more than 25 industry partners.

SMJUHSD Media Contact: Public Information Officer Kenny Klein 805-709-1454 or kklein@smjuhsd.org