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SCOE Students Start Gourmet Restaurant

Culinary Café Open to Public Tuesdays and Thursdays for $5 Lunch


Students at Leo A. Palmiter High School celebrated the opening of the Capital City's newest restaurant today: their own restaurant called the Culinary Café. The first guests included Dr. David P. Meaney, Sacramento County Superintendent of Schools, who greeted fellow diners with a hearty welcome before announcing, "Soup's on!" On the menu: green salad, choice of herb-baked salmon or beef shish-kabob, dilled rice, and baby carrots, followed up with cranberry tiramisu for dessert.

The Culinary Café is now serving a gourmet luncheon every Tuesday and Thursday at noon. It is located in what was originally the cafeteria at Palmiter High School, near Arden Fair Mall. Seating is limited to 30 people and reservations are required. Cost is $5 per person. Call (916) 566-2039 for reservations.

Under the tutelage of chef Steven Moe, students ranging in age from 15 to 18 years have been working to develop their food preparation and service skills since last fall. The 30 students are participants in the Culinary Arts course, which was launched for the 1998–99 school year and is presented by the Sacramento County Regional Occupational Program (ROP) at Palmiter High School. Palmiter is operated by the Sacramento County Office of Education (SCOE) to serve special student populations. Much of the industrial culinary equipment, tables, and chairs used in the Café were donated by the State Department of Rehabilitation.

Chef Moe, formerly the chef at Garbeau's Dinner Theater and several Bay Area restaurants, is instructing students in food preparation, health and safety, cleanliness, supply/warehousing, the cost/profit margin of restaurant operations, and the essentials of different food service jobs, including cook, waitperson, host/hostess, cashier, and table busing. Students attend specialized classes each day, applying their knowledge on Tuesdays and Thursdays when the Café is open for the benefit of the community. Funding comes from a variety of job training programs, making it possible for students to be paid for their work at the Culinary Café.

Staff at Palmiter High School consider the Café a "school-to-world" program, offering students valuable entry-level job experience, connections with food service professionals, an opportunity for immediate use of their new hands-on skills, and an active way to learn social skills.

The Sacramento Regional Occupational Program offers a similar course—Food Services and Hospitality Operations—at sites throughout the Sacramento area. Spring semester classes begin January 25 at Estrellita High School (Galt), McClatchy High School (Sacramento), Rio Vista High School (Rio Vista), San Juan High School (Citrus Heights), and Valley High School (South Sacramento). Details about these and other Regional Occupational Program course offerings are available by calling (916) 228-2233.