Chef Ben Pike traveled and worked as a chef for a number of years after graduating from the New England Culinary Institute with an AOS in Culinary Arts in 1996; from the Lawnmeer Inn in Boothbay, Maine, to Loons On A Limb in Boca Grande, FL to Cipriani's Restaurant in Steamboat Springs, CO to L’Essentiel Restaurant in Chambery, France. After settling back in the Pioneer Valley, Chef Pike got his teaching certificate at Fitchburg State University and took over the kitchen at the Apprentice Restaurant at FCTS in 1999 and starting running a classic kitchen brigade, teaching his students a method of organizing a restaurant kitchen where each worker has a specific duty at a designated area. Chef Pike enjoys creating a classroom setting based on "learning by doing," immersing his students in real kitchen situations. When Chef Pike is not working he enjoys the New England outdoors by hunting, fishing, snowboarding, gardening and camping with his wife Linda, and Patrick Puggle Pike.
Bio to Come.
Brenda Fortin was an instructional aide in the Culinary Arts department at Tri-County Schools in Easthampton, a special education and behavioral school. Previously she was the head chef and manager at Roberto's Restaurant in Northampton and has worked in hospitality jobs since she was 15 years old. This is her first year here at FCTS where she teaches the bakery section of Culinary Arts. She loves cooking, baking, and teaching. She enjoys the diversity of the staff and students, and the involvement and dedication the staff and students exhibit she thoroughly enjoys her job, colleagues, and the students. When not working, she enjoys physical activities, nature, and her dog and cat.
“I love The Apprentice-it's a beautiful spot and the students are always so nice.”
“I especially like stopping by the bakery for a great dessert to take home.”
“The variety is great, and the food is always delicious.”