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The Curbside Cuisine is Serving Up Success

Man being served in a food truckEagle Mountain-Saginaw ISD's Hollenstein Career & Technology Center (HCTC) has a new addition to its campus: a student-run food truck.  

The truck is part of the center’s Culinary Arts program. More than a year in the making and using a converted former school bus, the students debuted the truck named Curbside Cuisine at the 2023 Train & Grain Festival held in October at Saginaw High School. 

“Things have gone really smoothly, said Jakob Woods, a Chisholm Trail High School senior and one of the leaders of the Curbside Cuisine crew. “It's a really cool thing that's happening at HCTC and in the Culinary Arts program, having a food truck for students to learn on and serve the public in. It’s been a long time in the making.” student standing in front of a food truck

Prior to Train and Grain, the students, led by their teacher, Chef Katie Natale, worked out the kinks at two soft launches at EMS ISD facilities, including serving members of the district’s maintenance team. 

“It is pretty cool because we're only high schoolers,” said Jayden Haeni, a Boswell High School junior in the Culinary Arts program. “So, I'll be able to use the skills I learn here in a real world experience. It will be very beneficial.” 

While the Curbside Cuisine is "cool" for students, it also serves as another important piece of the overall culinary arts curriculum. The program provides students with the skills and knowledge they need to pursue careers in the food industry, covering everything from food preparation and cooking to customer service and business management. 

Student in a food truck“My end goal is to open my own restaurant,” Woods said. “I'd like to be a personal chef and this program and working in the food truck is preparing me to meet my end goal.” 

Under the guidance of Chef Natale, students are responsible for all aspects of the food truck operation, from planning the menu to preparing and cooking the food to serving customers.  

“It’s a really good working experience,” Haeni. “It's fun, can be fast paced, and there is not a lot of space to work in there, so there is a lot of teamwork.” 

While Train & Grain was the first public event, the Curbside Cuisine was in food truck row along with more than a dozen others, and they held their own, serving a steady stream of customers throughout the festival, most surprised to learn that it was a student run truck from HCTC. 

“It was really exciting for people who aren’t familiar with our program to see what we’re about,” Woods said. “We’re serious here. We’re the real Food truck in front of a buildingdeal. We’re in a career pathway, training for the real world.” 

The Curbside Cuisine food truck is another way EMS ISD ensures students can explore personalized opportunities, be taught by world-class educators, and be ready for whatever path they choose after graduation, whether it is a career, college, the military, or a combination of those options. 

We are #EMSproud of the students that have launched and are running the Curbside Cuisine.