Every quarter feels like a whirlwind. And this past quarter was no exception, and with extra good reasons. Here are some-
October 5th, National Manufacturer’s Day: where our District 5 Supervisor Brown’s office worked with OEWD to bring in 4 small, local manufacturers to tell our students their story. It was such a great way to affirm with our students the hope and drive and support that is out there. Here is a pearl of wisdom from each of these small business manufacturers:
- don’t wait for an invitation, don’t hold yourself back, push yourself to take chances (Kelly McVicker, McVicker’s Pickles)
- find what you are good at, and then reach out for help (Smitten Ice Cream Ladies)
- failing in the moment is not failing in the bigger picture – take the golden nuggets (Josey Baker, Josey Baker Bread)
- follow your passion, follow your nose, you never know where it might lead (Christian, San Franpsycho)
Special thanks to Shakirah Simley of Vallie Brown’s office (and Vallie Brown!), Susan Ma of OEWD and Rima Vora of SF Made for their additional help and support in making this happen.
Next, our October 12th Long Table Dinner was a success, in a heartfelt way with our diving into Aleppo. When we think of that first week with our students and compare that with our last week with them, their growth and drive are as inspiring as these small business owners.
It takes looking back and seeing that, wow, we really did do a lot, and more importantly that it meant something – to us, to our guests, and most importantly, to our students.
These ladies are amazing, words don’t suffice but let’s just say they compliment each other really well. Grounded, insightful, detail oriented (at the right time) and always looking out for students.
Mariah is a former Ida B. Wells student! Now a Job Corps alum, with experience in a variety of cafes, she brings a grounded understanding and talent into the classroom.
Debbie has been a backbone to Heat of the Kitchen for years! First as a volunteer, now she is in the forefront, driving the class and reaching students as she teaches.
Everyone wants to hang out with these two!
AND About Those Collaborations…
Yes, we are so grateful! Here are some of the collaborations that Debbie and Mariah have been cooking up:
Thanks to SFUSD’s Future Food Design Team and Josey Baker Bread, we are able to feature these amazing sandwiches as an option to our Thursday lunch. It may not sound like much but it has opened doors to possibilities for changes in the future and the students truly appreciate them!
B. Wells Farmer’s Market
B Wells Farmer’s Market – an experiment, but a great tie in to taking overages of produce and getting them to those who could really use them. Thanks to SF Wholesale Produce, our teachers pick up overages of produce and then are able to repackage them and give them away to students.
Save the Date! The Green Room at The War Memorial- March 14, 2019
This plans to be a much larger collaboration than we have ever done before! Please save the date for Thursday, March 14, 2019, where many youth culinary groups will come together to serve a BIG Long Table Dinner styled event at The Green Room. Are we excited? YESSSS! Please save that date.
Back to now –
Long Table Dinner 10 Tickets are here—>
On Valentine’s Day NOPA closes their restaurants so the employees can take the time to volunteer throughout the City. For us that meant a group came and cleaned up our dormant garden (dormant thanks to a band of hungry 4 legged neighbors that we hope have moved on) to get ready to plant again.
And now we prepare for another generous involvement with NOPA. Our Long Table Dinner will morph into a Lunch at NOPA on Thursday March 15th, 1-2:30pm, in the middle of our March Fundraising Campaign. Tickets and more information will be available soon. We are totally excited!
Yes, you can build your own inner thought structure. Teens normally give you pretty suspicious looks when you talk about this, but this quarter’s students were curious and one student was inspired enough to make this drawing.
I remember how shocked I was when I realized I could choose how I thought about something. Ask any baker, gardener, even avid walker or runner (or try this yourself) and you might also find that getting your hands busy in something helps uncover this ability and helps you step above that frenetic frontal lobe, much like a sea bird coasting over the ocean. The mind/body connection is stronger than we allow it to be. So my reminder this quarter to myself is when in doubt (or worry), to put down the screen and get my hands busy.
We are already in our 2nd quarter, with a new group of students and are they excited about this upcoming Long Table Dinner! Please join us on Thursday November 9th, 6-8pm for a delicious and heart warming meal.
Link to more information and tickets is here or can be found by copying and pasting this into your browser:
Please reserve your tickets before prices go up or we sell out! We look forward to serving you.
This isn’t the first time I’ve posted the skills and values our students identify at the beginning of each quarter, this set being from our most recent class. But it is a place of beginnings (most of us love fresh starts) and these again remind me of a few things.
First and foremost: students know what they need. Second, when I read these again, I am struck with how much these are skills and values that I want too, which is pretty heartwarming. It may not immediately create a common bond, but is a reminder that we are not that different from each other after all.
The hard part as the weeks progress (and it is only 8-9 weeks that we have together) is to sustain our values while keeping sight of our progress when challenges pop up.You’re having problems with friends or another teacher and aren’t in the mood to work, or you get distracted with others in class and miss some vitals in a recipe.
Any teen may not realize that this happens to all of us and in the workplace all the time. We all make mistakes and have off days. Sometimes what happens next are the best times in class, when we show our human-ness, responding to mistakes without getting personal or reactive (which are learned skills achieved only through practice). What could get charged up becomes an “oh” moment instead, not so bad, and the new understanding brings in a glimmer of trust. We start making connections as a kind of middle ground forms. Then people get a little braver, a little more trusting – and then a “wow” moment happens – what we made is delicious! Trust leads to accomplishment, leads to appreciation, leads to giving, leads to feeling great about giving, leads to creating even more. It is the magic of cooking together.
Happy February 2017 Everyone! This quarter our new batch of students are keeping us busy, inspiring us to work harder (and better). Lots of great teamwork and excitement is building as we head towards our next Long Table Dinner.
That’s right – Long Table Dinner 8 will be on Thursday March 2nd, 2017, 6-8pm.
Tickets will be available very soon – YAY!
This may be a sparse hallway, but in two weeks it will be filled with the magic burble and delicious aromas that many of us in the restaurant industry have come to know and love.
Please be a part of it by picking up a few tickets at this next Long Table Dinner! Tickets can be purchased via our Brown Paper Ticket Event link:
We look forward to seeing you at the table!
This is a working kitchen now. I stayed late on this afternoon to finish canning the last batch of grape jelly, made from donated grapes (NaStar Farms) and Barbera grape juice (Muir Made) – no pectin, so it is a softer texture – good for glazing sweet or savory items, or even as a bit of a drizzle on some cheese. There are more donations under the window – fresh quince which have such a welcoming fragrance – and soon will become another delicious preserve.
We’ve been incredibly lucky with the bounty coming into the classroom – thank you! And our students are tackling the large quantities with gusto as we gear up for our first Long Table Dinner in two years.
Here are a few shots of class over these past few weeks, a Jamaican themed menu from last week, and an Asian dumpling inspiration on another week:
What impresses me most right now is the very determined nature of our students. It is compelling – and it will definitely come in handy in the weeks ahead!
As we turn our menu discussions towards the Long Table Dinner, (LTD 7!) we hope you will set aside the evening of Thursday October 6th and join us for this fun event where we will turn our newly renovated main hallway into a pop-up dinner venue, for a delicious multi-course meal made and served by our students.
Menu details and a link to tickets to follow soon!