Mission and purpose

The Culinary Arts Team is a student organization created through the ASB of Notre Dame High School. Though it exists as most extracurricular programs to meet and nurture the interests of our students, it exists to support the mission of our school, which is based on educating hearts and minds.

The club is designed to develop a sense of security, independence and confidence for our students in the kitchen and the dining room. The goal is for students to understand the meaning of fine dining. This experience is designed as a springboard, whether students are considering a career in the culinary arts or simply want to be able to entertain their families and friends with style and enjoyment.

Among the skills to be explored: 

  • How to handle yourself in a formal dining room or restaurant
  • Planning a menu for a dinner or special event
  • Where to find the ingredients needed
  • How to prepare a full meal
  • Setting the dining room
  • Plating a meal
  • Dining hospitality 
  • Cleanup is as important as planning

Click here for a more detailed club syllabus. 

Facilities and resources

We will use the kitchen and dining facilities in the Holy Cross Center under the supervision of Mr. Terry McGaha, Mr. Dave Savage and Mr. Matt Toner. Meals will be fully served in the HCC Dining Room for special scheduled events and will be treated as the Culinary Arts Club’s “restaurant,” which will be called the Lagniappe Café. The scheduled dining events will serve as a form of “assessment” used to measure the progress and proficiency of the club members.

The costs of the program will be covered by a dining fee that will be charged to our “restaurant customers.” The success of the business finance will be another learning experience of the club members, as they will need to set reasonable prices and bring in customers through marketing and advertising.

So, when is the Lagniappe Café “open for business?” Four to six dining events will be scheduled on Saturday evenings as the NDHS calendar will allow. The restaurant will have seating for 32 with four tables set for eight customers each. Reservations will be required, and the assigned maître d’ for each event will be responsible for managing reservations.

Community

Community is a key element of our school mission, and it is supported by the existence of the Culinary Arts Club in several ways. There is a strong sense of community within the club, as students with an interest in culinary arts and fine dining come together to share their experience and work together through club membership. The club supports community building on a larger scale in the school by providing a shared dining opportunity for students, parents, faculty and staff, which also engages a socializing opportunity for planned events.

Good food

Good food is provided through the use of quality ingredients along with careful preparation. A variety of food selection and preparation styles are used for the scheduled events. In spite of carefully selecting high quality ingredients, the Culinary Arts Club will charge reasonable prices on their menus since profit-making is not its first priority.

Fun

Enjoyment and camaraderie are necessary for continued existence and success of all student activities. Membership in the Culinary Arts Club requires significant work by participating students for the sponsored events, but these demands are not made at the expense of the students having fun in the process.

Learning Experience

Learning experience is a dividend for the members of the club, as is the case with all extracurricular activities at Notre Dame. Mastering cooking and dining is truly a life skill that can be valued throughout the adult life of our students.

Sharing

It’s not just about appetites and pleasing the palate. It’s about sharing what is in your heart!