Got Cheese? Culinary Arts students serve hundreds at State Fair

How did you spend that last weekend before the new school year started?

A group from the New Castle Career Center’s Culinary Arts program volunteered their Sunday to make thousands of ooey, gooey grilled cheese sandwiches at the Indiana State Fair Dairy Barn.

Culinary teacher Robin Boucher explained that her students are members of the Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA). It was through the FCCLA that they got the opportunity to be a part of the 2021 Indiana State Fair.

“FCCLA offers a program called Prostart which is culinary/hospitality focused,” Boucher said. “We have our own Culinary chapter where we hold monthly meetings, students are elected for a position and plan things for our class. Students in the spring get to attend the Indiana conference and compete in different areas like cooking, baking, culinary math, restaurant management, hospitality and tourism.”

FCCLA reached out to several Indiana chapters around the state to help with the Dairy Barn.

“They love volunteer helpers and need them with the hundreds of customers daily,” Boucher said.

Eight students from the New Castle culinary program volunteered to help out this year.

Brennan Trado (HHS), Avery Burge (KHS), Daniel Guthrie (KHS) and Clayton Humphrey are starting their second year with the NCCC Culinary Arts.

Kaylynn Johnson (NCHS), Jackson Trott (KHS), Nicholas Grieve (NCHS), Jasmine Downs (NCHS) are brand new to the program this year.

Boucher said her pupils spent the day making all the classic Dairy Barn grilled cheese sandwiches: Swiss/Rye, Colby/White, American/White, Pepperjack/Sourdough, Muenster/Cinnamon Swirl Raisin Bread.

This year, they also got to make the new Wafflewich, a creation that puts cheese and waffles together in a most interesting way.

“The students made hundreds of sandwiches,” Boucher said. “I believe one student tried to estimate how many he personally made and a rough count of 864.”

When classes for the 2021-2022 school year start Thursday, Boucher will have 29 culinary arts students.

“That is the most I’ve had since starting teaching,” she said. “I am hoping to introduce new projects and competitions this year. My second year students are going to start a Work-Based Learning experience for Culinary. They will be out in the community working in the industry and still earning Ivy Tech college credits.”

Keep up with the NCCC Culinary Arts program at

By TRAVIS WEIK editor@thecouriertimes.comAug 4, 2021