IHCC Culinary Arts Students return from Spain

Itâ??s the trip of a lifetime and for many it was their first time on a plane.

Advanced Culinary Arts students at IHCC spent 13 days in the beautiful country of Spain cooking alongside chefs at EIC, an international cooking school, as well as learning about the countryâ??s rich history and culture.

This was the third year for the Spain trip, something Culinary Arts Director Chef Gordon Rader says is a very important piece to the program.

â??Each year it gives the opportunity to young people in rural areas to get on a plane, step outside their comfort zone to go to a country where another language is spoken and to really have a huge impact on their lives in many, many ways -- not only to look at similarities between the agriculture and the passion for the food between my culinary students and the folks and professionals in that area, but actually to look at starting relationships through friendships,â?? said Chef Gordon.

Heather Nelson, a student on the Spain trip, says she not only is taking away cooking skills from the trip but also a new mindset.

â??The way that the Spanish do certain things; I think that's what Iâ??m bringing back, is the culture, this lifestyle. They don't get too bent about things. They're relaxed. They take things in stride. They're very leisurely and I think that's something we could stand to be more like that,â?? said Nelson.

â??What I look for are the changes in my students. I watch my students; I want to see the look in their eyes, I want to see their challenges, I want to see their excitement and that for me is always when they come to me and say â??Chef, I can't believe thisâ?? and Iâ??m like â??yeah isn't that great.â?? I mean those are the moments. Those are the moments that are exceptional for me,â?? said Chef Gordon.

Chef Gordon says he notices a difference in his students when they get back â?? a new way of thinking, a new conversation to bring to the table; all things that will help them in their career.