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CTE Success Story: Ocean County Vocational Technical School Alumna Payton Klein embarks on a new and magical culinary adventure

February 14, 2024

CTE Month Success Story: Payton Klein, Ocean County Vocational Technical School Post-Secondary Culinary Arts Class of 2023 Payton was accepted in the Disney Culinary Program, a six-month internship experience with Disney parks and resorts - the hospitality epicenterPayton Klein may have wished upon a star, but it is her work ethic and education that is making her dreams come true.

Klein has been accepted into the Disney Culinary Program, a six-month internship where she will gain on-the-job experience working in the Disney parks and resorts. She credits her education at Ocean County Vocational Technical School (OCVTS) for giving her the skills she needed to find success.

Klein graduated from the OCVTS Grunin Performing Arts Academy in 2022, and then entered the district’s post-secondary Culinary Arts program. That afforded her the unique opportunity to learn and hone new skills at Cuisine on the Green at Atlantis, OCVTS’ Culinary Arts training center. Here, students learn everything from restaurant operations to food service and different types of food preparation.

“Attending Cuisine on the Green at Atlantis gave me all the knowledge needed to become a professional kitchen chef,” said Klein. “I learned all about the different knife skills, kitchen etiquette, and was able to utilize them in my first chef job. I also was given amazing opportunities to be creative on my own, which was always my favorite part of the program.”

Cuisine on the Green at Atlantis is a fully operational bar and restaurant located at the Atlantis Golf Course in Little Egg Harbor. It becomes an important classroom over the Culinary Arts students’ 10 months of instruction. Students also benefit from classroom instruction and the opportunity to earn up to five nationally recognized certifications in the field.

Klein graduated from the Culinary Arts program in 2023 and felt prepared to begin her career. She said she accumulated advice from professionals in the business, including pastry chefs and produce brokers, and combined that with OCVTS resources in place to help students prepare for life after graduation.

“OCVTS has great resources…and staying in touch with instructors can really help when entering the workforce,” added Klein. “My instructors at Cuisine on the Green at Atlantis were very experienced and knew many important people in the local restaurant scene. This includes Chef James Costello from Ohana Grill.”
Klein worked at Ohana Grill in Lavalette, N.J., immediately after graduation up until being accepted into the Disney Program. She now begins a new challenge to further develop her skills in the epicenter of the hospitality industry.

Alumni Success Stories

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