Ideas for middle school career day?

Joined May 19, 2011
So I just got approved to take my knives/tools to career day and I thought that would make it easier than talking for a half an hour. It hasn't. Now I can't think of anything to do. I won't be cooking and I'm sure they wouldn't care too much for dicing. Any help would be awesome.

P.S. This is my first post, but I've been lurking for a while.
Joined Jun 14, 2002
lol, Look but don't touch, eh?

Maybe you can do Martin Yan style cuts? Or the cut where you shave a daikon into continous sheet. Or fruit carving.

Get a big a** cleaver or scimitar knife. The boys will love it.

Bring some munchies that you made. That will eat up time in your presentation.
Joined Feb 1, 2007
When my kids were young and I was invited to those sorts of things I discovered that they don't want demonstrations. They just want you to talk about your job: what sort of training it takes, how much money can be made, the pros & cons of---in your case---cooking as a career choice.

So, before making any plans (other than wearing your chef's whites and toque) I'd check with the school to see exactly what they expect and what they'll accept.
Joined May 19, 2011
I thought about snacks, but there are 100 of them and I can't think of 100 decent things to make that isn't costly for a free presentation. I'm sure cookies would be a hit. Maybe I should stick with talking.
Joined Aug 29, 2000
I think KYH has it right. Much of my teacher career was in middle schools. They want to know how they can be like the chefs on TV, such as Guy Fieri or Emeril. I'd give them a truer picture of what most chefs' professional lives are like, and that you have to like food, cooking and serving customers if you're going to feed your family. Do check with the school to see what they're looking for, as the kids may be required to take notes, and may need certain kinds of information, as KYH said (education, pay, etc.) Lately, students are looking at how steep the cost of school is, and how long it takes to pay back high-ticket tuition. I believe that's called "opportunity cost".

One last thought: I'd hold off on the "big-***" knives. That kind of flash will set the staff's teeth on edge, and it's probably not what most pepole use on the line anyway! /img/vbsmilies/smilies/lol.gif
Joined Jul 28, 2001
I've done everything from baking with a lightbulb to blowing sugar. What is the age group? 

I've only dealt with all boys school. There was no interest in anything but food. The best was a couple of surface carved melons.

Cubed and melon balls go a long way.

Joined Feb 23, 2011
I've done both my kids middle school career days; got one more next year and then I should be done.  I forgot how hard it is to keep their attention at that age so I started bringing some props to pass around while I'm talking.  I try to get a few they will ID easily and then mix it up with the rest.  I've taken ginger root, stinky cheeses, escargot, unusual produce (chinese long beans, pomegranites, wild mushrooms...), I'm surprised at some that they know and it keeps them interested.

I also bust their bubble and make them aware of the job demands and requirements.  The numbers of students and classes get increased every year; it is one of the most popular choices.  
Joined Apr 19, 2011
I say bring some dirty pot and pans and tell them clean these this is where all the best chefs started.. at least that's were I did almost forty years ago..
Joined May 19, 2011
Since I'm a whole one year into my cooking career, I just talked a little and let them ask questions while I made flowers. Apparently I was a hit.

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