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When Broward County Public Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie visited France recently, he was impressed by a college there that taught young people about culinary arts and hospitality management. He believed it would be great idea to invite some of the culinary arts students to participate in an exchange program with a Broward school.

So an exchange program was developed. A group of ten students from the Georges Freche school in southern France spent about ten days working with ProStart students at J.P. Taravella High School. In January, eight students from J.P. Taravella will go to France to study culinary arts and hospitality management.

The Taravella students worked with a French chef and the students from France. “It was rigorous and high tempo. I learned a lot about different foods in ten days,” said Nicole Rivera. She is hoping for a career in hospitality management.

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Djoreme Semara, a student from France loved her visit to South Florida. “I love the U.S. People here are more friendly and open. The students work hard here,” she said.

Chef Scott Goodman, who teaches culinary arts at J.P. Taravella was impressed by the French students. “We learned more traditional styles of cooking from the students. We all become best friends,” he said. “It takes a lot of dedication and willingness to work hard to be successful in the culinary arts.”

After more than a week of working together, the students put on a special dinner for leaders from the Broward County Public Schools. Runcie and various school officials attended. They were served a multicourse meal prepared by the students.

“In France, I saw a whole school dedicated to hospitality management. They had a five star restaurant there,” said Runcie, “I would like to see a program like that in Broward County.”

J.P. Taravella Principal Jason Nault said he was pleased to see the culinary arts students preparing and high quality meal and serving it. “I am excited about this program,” he said.

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