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13th Annual Grand Opening of Student-Run Culinary Café

Program Teaches Students Skills Needed for Success in Food Services Profession

Board Trustees shaking hands with students

Board Trustees Harold Fong, Jacquelyn Levy, and Greg Geeting helped recognize the students who had received their food safety certification.

Local educators and civic leaders helped celebrate the 13th annual grand opening of one of Sacramento County's best-kept fine dining secrets: the Culinary Café.

Students are the driving force behind the café and the Culinary Arts program. LINKS students from the Leo A. Palmiter Jr./Sr. High School and Elinor Lincoln Hickey Jr./Sr. High School campuses do everything from preparing food, to serving customers, and cleaning up the kitchen and classroom. These are young people with special needs who are learning job and social skills. Many students who excelled in the Culinary Arts program have been placed in jobs at Sacramento-area restaurants.

During the October 11 grand opening, students enrolled in the Sacramento Regional Occupational Program (ROP) Culinary Arts course showcased the food preparation and service skills they have learned under new Chef/Instructor Jeff Zahniser. The Palmiter and Hickey campuses are operated by the Sacramento County Office of Education to serve special student populations.

Chef Zahniser also presented each culinary student with a ServSafe® Food Handler certificate. Those earning such certification have passed a food safety test administered by the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation. The certification is needed to work in the foodservice industry. Sacramento County Board of Education Trustees Jackie Levy, Greg Geeting, and Harold Fong were on hand to help congratulate the students and award the certificates.

The Culinary Café is located at Leo A. Palmiter High School, 2040 Ethan Way (corner of Ethan Way and Cottage Way, three blocks north of Arden Fair Mall).

The Café is now accepting lunch reservations for Thursday seatings. The official schedule and menus are posted online as they become available. Meals cost $7, not including gratuity, and all proceeds benefit the program. Those interested in dining at the Culinary Café should make reservations by calling (916) 566-2039.

Jeff Zahniser working with student to prepare food

Chef/Instructor Jeff Zahniser works with a student to prepare food for the grand opening.

Student waitress taking food orders