But others in the class have serious plans for their certificate.
Sonia Johnson, a 32-year-old a mother of three from Kokomo, said she wants to use the certificate to get into the catering business. Her husband just graduated from college, and now she has a chance to head back to school.
“I love this class,” Johnson said during a little down time while making gazpacho, a tomato-based vegetable soup traditionally served cold. “Gazpacho is new to me, but I love making new things. It’s a challenge. That’s why I love it.”
And she said that’s the point — to stretch the boundaries of her culinary experience to help prepare her for a career in the food industry.
“I’ve learned a lot in this class,” she said. “Every week we’re learning something new. The instructor does a great job of walking us through, step by step.”
Johnson said she also loves the class because it’s so much closer than the Ivy Tech branch in Muncie, where she was originally enrolled. Going to Peru for classes cut her drive from 45 to 20 minutes. It also cut the class size down from 30 to eight students.
“With gas prices what they are, this is so much more convenient,” Johnson said. “Plus, you get so much more one-on-one time with the instructor in a smaller class.”
Culinary instructor Kirk said although the eight students have different plans for their certificate, her main goal is to prepare them for the workforce.
“I want the students here to be able to walk away from this and get a job at a restaurant,” she said. “I want them to be able to hold their own in the industry and really know what they’re doing.”
The basic food theory and skills class is the first step to achieving that, Kirk said.