Desert Mirage Elementary students open restaurants

PHOENIX (KSAZ) - A lemon pepper salad with cherry tomatoes and asparagus isn't something you would expect to see in a school cafeteria, but today these Desert Mirage Elementary Students are chefs and they're serving up excellence.

"We're making a pork salad," "Chef" Ian said.

All members of the Science Technology Engineering Arts and Mathematics program, or S.T.E.A.M. for short, paired up to create their own restaurants featuring mouth-watering salads.

Principal Matt Williams says the goal is to marry hands-on work experience with education.

"They researched a career of a chef and so they get in the mindset of a chef and then they expand it and they get in that mindset of a restaurateur," he said.

The learning-based project is so much more fun than just chopping onions!

"They design everything from the menu, cost analysis and then final where they're at right now," Williams said. "They're creating their salads."

The little chefs even surprised themselves.

"You can use different food and combine them to make different tastes," one little chef said.

"A stuff tomato dish we have onions, potato, I think crab," another little chef said.

Principal Williams says this is the direction he hopes all schools will follow, preparing students to compete globally and here it all starts in the kitchen.

"This is where education is headed," he said. "That hands-on project-based learning exposure innovation. Something that is different."