Wearing aprons and chef hats and holding pens and pads, students from Leo A. Palmiter Jr./Sr. High School and Elinor Lincoln Hickey Jr./Sr. High School took lunch orders from new and returning customers of their Culinary Café on November 18.
The acclaimed Café, re-opening for the 2008-09 school year with a newly renovated kitchen and dining area, served dozens of diners during the opening afternoon. Students taking part in the Culinary Arts Program learn to prepare meals, serve customers, maintain a clean kitchen, and operate a business. They are young people with special needs who have difficulty managing in a conventional school environment.
One of the main goals behind the program is to teach students important skills designed to help them find employment.
"Our students find real success and gain self-confidence through our Culinary Arts program, and they take great pride in their achievements," Superintendent Gordon said. "They also are learning very valuable skills that will help make them employable and we consider that a great accomplishment."
The Culinary Café is a classroom-based instructional program that provides students with hands-on opportunities to reinforce their newly acquired skills in food preparation, storage and handling, teamwork, and customer service. The Café is a project of the Sacramento County Office of Education (SCOE), operated through its Special Education Department and Regional Occupational Program.
In addition to their regular academic studies, students attend classes in the school's home economics lab to gain mastery of entry-level skills in the foodservice profession. Many students have subsequently attained jobs or have used their vocational and social skills to help them further their education.
The Café opens to the public Tuesdays and Thursdays from 12 noon to 1 p.m. starting December 2. Weekly lunch offerings (just $6) include a main course, vegetable, salad, beverage, and dessert. Gratuities for student servers are always appreciated. All proceeds return to the program. Reservations (required) may be made by phoning the Café at (916) 566-2039 and menus will be posted online.
The Culinary Café is located on the campus of Leo A. Palmiter Jr./Sr. High School, 2040 Ethan Way, near Cottage Way and Howe Avenue. [map]