About Culinary Arts/Hospitality

Are you looking to kickstart your future in the hospitality industry? Explore our Culinary Arts & Hospitality pathway, developing skills in culinary occupations, nutrition, marketing in the hospitality & tourism industry, and more. Plus, earn certifications along the way!

If you are a returning student, apply online at mcusd2.org/enroll-LIFT. If you are new to LIFT, welcome! Please start the application process by speaking to your high school guidance counselor.

Available Certifications/Dual Credit Opportunities in Culinary:

  • Food Handlers Certification

  • CPR / First-Aid

  • Certified Professional Food Manager (CFPM)

Choose your Area of Emphasis (AOE)

Meet the Facilitator

"I graduated from Eastern Illinois University with a degree in Organizational Development. I have worked in restaurants for 8 years, prior to the Health Department and LIFT, and have experience bussing tables, dishwashing, cooking, prep cooking, delivery driving, and kitchen management. A few of the establishments I have worked for include The Alamo Steakhouse, Cody's Roadhouse, and The Firefly Grill of Effingham. Outside of working in restaurants, I have experience on the Sanitation side of Culinary as well. I worked for the Coles County Health Department for a year as a Sanitarian, doing inspections on kitchens, blueprint reviews, septic system installations, water wells, and permit application reviews to name a few of the aspects of being a Sanitarian. I have my Food Handler Certification, Food Safety Manager Certifications from Prometric and ServSafe, and a multitude of certifications in Food Safety and Sanitation from my time at the Health Department. My hope for the students in my classes is to prepare them to work in any type of food setting and get them to experience working with the tools of the trade, get them comfortable enough to be creative in the kitchen, and to make sure that the food they serve is both delicious and safe for anybody to enjoy."

Matt Jacobs  

   Culinary Arts Facilitator

Student Success Stories & Outcomes

97% of LIFT high school graduates are enrolling in postsecondary education, advanced training, military, apprenticeships, or employed in the year following graduation.

260 Certifications & Credentials earned in just one year. LIFT students gain technical skills, earn industry credentials, and earn college credits.

137 occurrences of students participating in active leadership opportunities.   LIFT students develop as leaders within their chosen fields.

305 service projects were completed in the 2022-23 school year.  LIFT students make an impact in our school & throughout the region.

Meet Isaac, Culinary Student at LIFT

Isaac, a Culinary student at LIFT from Effingham, had a dream of leaving his job in fast food and working for the Firefly Grill. After LIFT hosted Firefly for a cooking demonstration, Isaac applied for and was hired by the Firefly. Since then, Isaac has gained experience in the field by working with both Firefly Grill and Warren James Winery. He plans to continue his education at Lake Land College.

Pictured: Isaac, Culinary student at LIFT

Apply Today