About Us

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, private donations, and our fiscal sponsor, Buchanan YMCA, we are entering our 10th year -that’s a lot of delicious meals.  We are proud to have two teachers, Chef Debbie & Chef Mariah leading the charge (see another post about them here).  Please contact us with any ideas or suggestions, or if you would like us to visit your business or discuss our larger growth project, PRACTICE.


9 Replies to “About Us”

  1. Hello Alice,
    I am the culinary arts instructor at Life Learning Academy on Treasure Island, a charter school for at risk youth. I would like to know if it would be possible to come to Ida B. Wells to check out HOTK. I am on a professional development mission to observe local culinary programs that work with a similar population. Please let me know if this would be possible.

    Sabina Feinberg

  2. Hi Alice,
    I’ve enjoyed learning about Heat of the Kitchen. I’d love to reconnect . . . none of my contact info for you works! I hope you receive this! Please let me know! xo Lisa

  3. I came across your program through an article and was wondering if you also teach the students about different ingredients. I would love to send you a few Gourmet Chef Salt samples. Please contact me at janell@sfsalt.com if you might be interested. It is a wonderful program you have!

    Janell Llarinas

    1. Thank you Janell, we are not actively cooking while we are away from our regular school site, but thank you for getting in touch. Students love garnishing with gourmet salts. Perhaps when we are back at Ida B. Wells in 2016? Thanks again for thinking of us and glad that you like our program!

  4. I’m wondering if you have someone in your organization who can come teach a 1 – 1 1/2 hour class on eating healthy to 20-30 foster children (middle school and high school age range) on July 18 and/or August 29. Our organization, SOAR for Youth (http://soarforyouth.org/), is a non-profit working with 60 foster youth in the East Bay area. We will be meeting on the UC Berkeley campus. Health and eating right is a huge issue with these at-risk set of youth, so your help in teaching good eating habits would be really appreciated. Thanks, Karen

    1. Thank you Karen for contacting us, I’ve sent you an email through my other email address that hopefully lists some helpful options for you. Our work is through the continuation high school we are integrated with at this time, really appreciate hearing about SOAR! Perhaps we will connect in the future- All My Best!

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