The Sacramento region's best-kept dining secret is back open for another season of tasty food, great service, and valuable learning. On October 25, local educators and civic leaders helped celebrate the 14th annual grand opening of the Sacramento County Office of Education (SCOE) Culinary Café.
Students are the driving force behind the Café. Culinary Arts students from Leo A. Palmiter and Elinor Lincoln Hickey Jr./Sr. High Schools do everything from preparing food to serving customers and cleaning up the kitchen. They are young people with special needs who are learning job and social skills. Many students who succeeded in the Culinary Arts program have been placed in jobs at Sacramento-area restaurants.
During Thursday's grand opening, patrons were treated to lunch, including green salad, grilled Moroccan chicken with green couscous, Mediterranean vegetables, and homemade pita bread. Many of the ingredients used by the student chefs were grown by students from Palmiter and Hickey in a vegetable garden on the Hickey campus.
The Palmiter and Hickey campuses are operated by SCOE to serve special student populations. During the grand opening, students enrolled in the Sacramento Regional Occupational Program (ROP) Culinary Arts course showcased the food preparation and service skills they have learned from Chef/Instructor Jeff Zahniser.
The Culinary Café is located at Leo A. Palmiter High School, 2040 Ethan Way (at Cottage Way, three blocks north of Arden Fair Mall).
The Café is now accepting reservations for Thursday lunch seatings. Call (916) 228-2039. The cost is $7 (gratuity not included) and all proceeds go back into the program. The official schedule and menus are posted online as they become available.