Heat of the Kitchen looks like a Culinary Arts Class. The difference is that while most of our students love to cook (or want to learn to cook), many of them don’t necessarily want to be chefs. It is all about being a part of something real, tangible and tasty, where you are using all of your senses as you work. It translates well into getting ready for life after high school as students identify in themselves attributes in our working environment that they can use outside the classroom, in jobs, college, life.
Better yet, we share a universal connection when we explore the worlds of food, cooking and working together. Cooking after all, is what makes us human. When you cook together (particularly with food you have grown, picked or collected from a farmer) you are unquestionably part of a team. Then when others, who you may not know very well (or even at all) enjoy your cooking, it means something, an instant and lasting combination of self accomplishment, pride of work and respect. And better yet, you know they are right when you taste your own cooking. You know on many different levels that your efforts were worth it.
Currently we teach at Ida B. Wells High School, a continuation high school in the San Francisco Unified School District. Thanks to additional support from DCYF and our fiscal sponsor, Buchanan YMCA, we are entering our 6th year -that’s a lot of delicious meals. We are heading into a transitional phase this year, moving out of our school site in 2015 for badly needed upgrades, which will mean less cooking, but more real job exploration as we hit the pavement to visit our local professionals. Please contact us with any ideas or suggestions, or if you would like us to visit your business! It makes a huge difference to our students.