Graduates of the Teen Culinary Apprenticeship Program came into the Sylvia Center office to talk about their experiences and to give us feedback on the program. Many felt they were more confident in public speaking, and that they had developed their own healthier eating habits. Many commented on how they were now seen as experts in their own families when it came to healthful eating. It was clear that the graduates realized how food has many intersections — in community connections, public health, and sustainability.
Over the summer, these teen chef instructors taught cooking classes to children and youth where they put their skills to work. Above any cooking technique or knife cut, patience was key. Working with young people, introducing them to new foods, and managing a class in the preparation of a complete recipe from start to finish was an eye opening experience. From our discussion, the teens told us that they want more opportunities to grow and serve their community.
After our talk, they took a tour of Great Performances kitchen with Chef Rob Valencia. The group got to see a professional catering kitchen in action, preparing for multiple events that night.
Then last Thursday, two graduates from the Teen Culinary Apprenticeship met with our founding board members to discuss the history of The Sylvia Center and offer their vision for the future of our programs throughout the city. The conversation, which we caught on video, will be featured at the Art of Cooking benefit on November 1st.