Sowela Culinary Arts students cook for the public

Sowela Culinary Arts students cook for the public
KPLC-TV

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - No, you're not looking at a kitchen at a commercial restaurant in Lake Charles. This is the kitchen in Sowela's Culinary Arts department as students prepare their sit-down meal service for the public. Ashlen Goleman of Pitkin always loved cooking at home and now wants to make this her career.

"I can cook sauces, fantasy salads, desserts, pretty much everything," said Goleman. "We learn everything here."

"Our students go out into industry," said Jerry Sonnier, Culinary Program Director at Sowela. "They're employed with the local restaurants and casinos. Some open up their own restaurants. Just manage their own facilities."

Rachel Montiville instructs her students on baking techniques and decorating desserts.

"Because you eat with your eyes," said Rachel Montiville, Adjunct Instructor. "If it's something you never tried before and it's not too pretty on the plate, you might not be tempted to try it. But if it comes out really pretty, you might try it. Like they say, you eat with your eyes first." 

"The industry depends on us to train the students so they have the basic skills to go into any type of restaurant setting," said Sonnier

Student Jayla Fruge fell in love with cooking at home.

"My grandmother, ever since I was a kid, baking was her passion," said Fruge. "So I was always in the kitchen helping her, so that's kind of how I got into it."

And Jayla hopes this will eventually turn into a career.

"When I get out I plan on trying to get into the casino as a pastry chef, or even in a bakery, just to start off."

Sowela serves meals to the public for only $8.00 on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. Thursday is a sit-down meal with waiter service. Wednesday and Friday are buffet style. To tell them you're coming, call Sowela at 337-421-6989.