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Student-Run Café Opens for 2017–18 School Year

Award-Winning Teacher Develops Students' Job and Life Skills

Students making Caesar salad

Today, with Sacramento County Teacher of the Year 2018 “Chef” Jeff Zahniser guiding a team of enthusiastic student cooks and servers, the Sacramento County Office of Education (SCOE) celebrated the 19th annual re-opening of one the area’s best-kept fine dining secrets: the Culinary Café.

Students are the driving force behind the Café and SCOE’s Culinary Arts Program at Leo A. Palmiter Jr./Sr. High School and Elinor Lincoln Hickey Jr./Sr. High School. The students are working to overcome educational challenges while learning job and social skills. Those who successfully complete the program are frequently hired by Sacramento-area restaurants.

During this year’s invitation-only re-opening, guests enjoyed a delicious lunch of Caesar salad, crispy chicken Florentine, mushroom rice pilaf, fall vegetables (cultivated by the school’s environmental horticulture students), and tiramisu mini eclairs for dessert.

The Culinary Café serves lunch on specific Thursdays during the traditional school year (typically from 12–1 p.m.), from November through May.

Lunch costs $8 (gratuity not included) and all proceeds go back into the program. Those interested in making reservations should call (916) 228-2039.

Student server posing at table
Student cutting strawberries