McCracken County High School culinary arts program gets national recognition

A group of McCracken County High School students celebrates the culinary program’s inclusion on the 2019 Elite 50 list.
Back row (left to right): Cole Darnall, Greg Wilson, Matthew Meier, Riley Nienaber, Jacob Ehling, Gavin Norsworthy, Dylan Martin, Gage Harwick, Ryan Gillituk
Front row (left to right): Culinary teacher Ashley Woodruff, Evelyn Jensen, Madeline Gish, Abi Oblea, Haley Holmes, Tiffany Thurston, Cori Ramirez, Derianna Pipes, Amanda Adcox

MCCRACKEN COUNTY, KY — A local high school’s culinary arts program has been named a list of the top 50 hospitality programs in the country.

McCracken County High School’s culinary arts program has been named to Sullivan University’s 2019 Elite 50 Hospitality Program. This is the second year in a row the program has made it on the for-profit university’s Elite 50 list, the school district says in a news release sent Monday.

The school offers four culinary classes, and McCracken County Schools says more than 400 students are enrolled in at least one culinary class this school year. Strong participation is one of the reasons the district says the high school’s program made the Elite 50 list. In applying for the Elite 50, the school also submitted original recipes, photos of dishes students prepared, information about teacher certifications, other recognition the program has received and opportunities students have access to.

The district says students in the program get to compete in regional, state and national contests, and they can earn certifications through ServSafe and the Kentucky Occupational Skills Standards Assessment. A few students are also able to intern with Freight House owner and chef Sara Bradley, who finished as first runner up on season 16 of Top Chef last week.