Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Getting Great Exposure at the Oakland MegaRegion Event

Kitchen of Champions graduates Tamika and Kenny proudly serve alongside local restaurateur Faz Poursohi of Faz restaurants. Kitchen of Champions students and grads were servers at the Northern California MegaRegion Summit in Oakland on May 4, 2012. The event proved to be a great experience for the students, and a professional networking opportunity as well. Great job!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Cohort 30 Update

Sorry for the long hiatus from the blog world folks! Lots of changes have been taking place in the Kitchen of Champions world. Our current class, Cohort 30, is the first to start our new Tuesday through Saturday schedule. We also have a new Sous Chef Instructor, Keith Baber, who started working with the class last week. The students are in their ninth week of training and are looking forward to a few big upcoming events: mock interviews, the March 14th Guest Chef Dinner featuring Matt Colgan, and graduation on March 22nd! Here are a few photos of the most recent bunch.

Mike and Kaleph learning some skills from Chef LeBlanc

Kenneth choppin' up a storm

Robert using his newly acquired knife skills

Stay tuned for updates on Cohort 30's eventful next couple of weeks!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Field Trip to Berkeley Bowl

Every Friday, the Kitchen of Champions students have a two-hour class put on by the wonderful non-profit organization Cooking Matters (www.cookingmatters.org). A volunteer chef, nutritionist, and class assistant come in every week to provide one hour of nutrition instruction and one hour of hands-on healthy cooking. Each session, Cooking Matters volunteers take our class on a field trip to the Berkeley Bowl grocery store. The students partake in a grocery scavenger hunt and are then given ten dollars each to buy one food from each food group that will collectively make a meal for four people. Every class enjoys this field trip, and this time was no exception!

Volunteer Nutritionist Morgan leads the students through the incredible produce section

Corn vs. wheat tortillas: Which is healthier?

Jo and Nayah

Thanks Cooking Matters for taking us on this awesome field trip, and thanks for everything you do for Kitchen of Champions!

Fremont Thrift Store Event

One of our biggest events of the year, the Eat Real Festival (www.eatrealfest.com), is coming up at the end of September. To prepare for the event and get the students well-versed on the use of our food trailer, we spent last Thursday at the Fremont St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Store cooking and serving food to customers. The menu was very similar to our offerings at Eat Real (Monte Cristo sandwiches and jambalaya... yum), and was a great trial run for the big event!

James and Nique flippin' the Monte Cristos

The menu!

Mike Mike and Kim

Robert and David hanging out in the food trailer

Our new Head Chef Harold LeBlanc and the students

David serving up food to hungry customers

Jonathan and Rubelet: Marketing superstars!

It was great for the students to sell their homemade food to the public. Everyone enjoyed the lunch, and the students feel ready for the Eat Real Fest!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Field Trip to Mission Pie

The day after graduation, we celebrated with the students by taking a field trip to Mission Pie in San Francisco (www.missionpie.com). During the last month of the program, the students participated in baking workshops led by Karoline Boehm-Goodnick and Ben Goodnick. Karoline is the General Manager of Mission Pie, and Ben is the Executive Sous Chef at Epic Roasthouse (www.epicroasthouse.com). It was such a privilege to have these two spend so much time with the students and teach them everything from cookies to pie crust to homemade bread. We couldn't possibly finish the class without taking a trip to Karoline's pie shop! We took a tour of the kitchen facilities, and then shared a mixed berry pie and a banana cream pie together at the cafe. It was such a nice way to end the class.

Karoline showing off Mission Pie's huge oven

Theresa and Mike Mike in the Mission Pie kitchen

Yummy peaches being prepped... everything at Mission Pie is local and seasonal except the bananas!

The boys

Hanging out in the cafe

Mike Mike servin' up pies for all the students

The whole crew!

Cohort 27 Graduates!!

The 27th Kitchen of Champions class graduated on Thursday, June 23rd, and it was quite a joyous occasion. The graduates' friends and family packed the SVdP Dining Room to the brim. After walking out to "Lovely Day" by Bill Withers, keynote speaker Judge Stuart Hing gave an inspiring speech to all the students about how lucrative the food industry is and how many opportunities are out there for them. Each student then received their new knife sets, certificates, and were then given the chance to say a few words. The graduates' speeches were heartfelt, and just about everyone in the audience shed a few tears! The ceremony concluded with a huge feast that the students prepared all week long for their families. It was a great day.

Roland and Taccara prepping the Strawberry Shortcake for graduation

The finished product!

Big John mixing up a LOT of salad

Avocados for homemade California Rolls... yum

Liza's beautiful fruit platter

The grads getting into their seats

Whitney giving some words of wisdom

Proud Culinary Services Coordinator Diana with students Antonio and Arthur

All of the students from this class will be missed, but all of us at SVdP are so proud of them. They are all going really big places!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Alumni Club Picnic

The Kitchen of Champions and Champion Workforce staff teamed up to host an Alumni Club event for alumni and current students of both programs. The picnic was held at Mosswood Park on May 7th. Despite the wind, we had a good turn-out of students, past students, and their families. Everyone enjoyed pizza, watermelon, and some football and frisbee. We had enough prizes during our raffle that no one went home empty handed.

Matt and Mike Mike!

The boys

LeVon and Zack

SVdP family

Thanks to everyone who helped out and attended!