What’s Right With Our Schools: Howard Culinary Program


CHATTANOOGA, TN (WDEF) – Give a man a pie and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to cook, and he might make it a career. It’s a recipe for success that Howard is serving up in its Culinary Arts program.

Chef Greg Carder is a Culinary Arts Instructor at Howard.

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He says, “We are called the Rock City Institute of Hospitality and Tourism. They are in the process, and other partners are helping to create the kitchen, the commercial kitchen that we have. Hopefully, it will be up and going pretty soon, and we will be able to teach the kids the commercial end of it, and that’s our goal. It’s to get them jobs. That is what we are here for.”

Fellow Instructor Chef Daniel “La Cocina” Isaac explains, “My title will be Chef Isaac. It was a nickname that was kind of given to me here. I am new to Howard. They felt a need to have me over here because of two things. Number one, they want it to grow the program. Also, I am (here) because I am very fluent in Spanish. So, that helps with the demographics of the kids here that might not know English.”

Chef Isaac adds, “First of all, they are learning a life skill, and that life skill is cooking.”


Culinary Student Leonel Lopez Terzero says, “I love to cook, and sometimes the teacher will let us decorate it, and make it look better. Like, he teaches us different canned foods, and I can do those same things at home.”

Chef Isaac explains, “We are preparing them for the industry. The industry of hospitality and tourism. The industry of culinary arts, which is so big and wide here, in the Chattanooga area that, maybe, they don’t want to be a chef, but you know what, because they have learned the trait of hospitality, then go into the hotel business, or they can go into the event planning business. So, there are so many different things that we have culinary. There are many things, that one day, maybe, they will on their own restaurant.”

Leonel has found his calling.

He says, “The whole purpose is to become a chef. Yeah, to become a chef. How to learn to cook.”

Chef Isaac concludes, “We are just teaching them, giving them the tools that will help them in the future regardless of which way they want to go.”

Bon Appetit!



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Andrew Harrison is happy to be back home! He grew up in Chattanooga and is a proud graduate of East Brainerd Elementary and McCallie School. He is a longtime member of St. Martin's Episcopal Church. Andrew started as a studio camera operator at WTVC in Chattanooga, and has 25 years of experience in television. He's worked as photographer, producer, reporter and anchor. Andrew spent the last 20 years in Mississippi, the last 7 anchoring the morning news in Jackson. It's a dynamic market, with no shortage of news, but Andrew is a Tennessean at heart. He's won numerous AP awards for reporting, including Best Franchise for Large Market Mississippi Stations. He was voted the Mississippi Delta's Favorite News Personality. (in 2008) Andrew is a devoted husband and father of two. His wife, Tonya is also from Tennessee. He's a big Titans, Grizzlies and Predators fan, and when it comes to baseball, the Braves will always be number one. You can e-mail him at aharrison@wdef.com.