Stepping into a room filled with a symphony of flavors, local dignitaries, esteemed educators, Sacramento County Board of Education trustees, and other honored guests gathered on October 12 to savor the culinary artistry of Sacramento County Office of Education (SCOE) students. A by-invitation lunch debuted the 2023–24 school year for the Culinary Café at Leo A. Palmiter Jr./Sr. High School—the 25th year for the program. Lunch will now be served on specific Thursdays throughout the school year.
Under the supportive guidance of Culinary Arts Instructor Stephen Hazelton, students demonstrated their culinary prowess. The Café came alive with the sizzle of roasted chicken breast, the aromatic allure of mushroom Dijon sauce, and the vibrant colors of seasonal vegetables. Steam billowed from creamy mashed potatoes, and the tantalizing aroma of orchard-fresh apple cobbler filled the air.
Beaming with pride, Chef Hazelton explained his philosophy for the program. “In the kitchen, we craft not just meals, but memories. Each dish we serve is a testament to our dedication to culinary excellence.”
The “Culinary Café isn’t just about food—it’s about shaping futures,” Palmiter Principal Lauren Roth emphasized. Launched in the 1998–99 school year, “It’s a place where educational challenges are met with skill, where social and employability skills are honed.”
The Café is now open to the public, offering mouthwatering meals at an affordable $10. The students appreciate gratuities. In return, they gain valuable food service experience. They also get the opportunity to earn the valuable ServSafe food handling certification, opening doors for employment.
The Culinary Arts Program is an integral part of the Sustainable Environments Learning Academy. The program fosters food literacy and nurtures budding careers. Dishes frequently feature produce lovingly grown by SCOE students in the Urban Oasis Project at the school, creating a farm-to-table experience like no other.
Many students also participate in the WorkAbility/Transition Partnership program. The program empowers them to make a seamless transition from school to the workforce or pursue further education, placing numerous SCOE students in coveted positions within Sacramento-area businesses.
Take a Culinary Adventure: Make a Reservation Today
Support students as they embark on another exciting culinary journey this school year. Starting November 9 at noon, the Culinary Café will enchant your taste buds with delectable lunches throughout the school year. Remember: every bite you savor and every reservation you make helps SCOE students learn.
Check out the menus and dates the Café is serving, then reserve your spot by calling (916) 228-2039.