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    Growing Career Tech Education and Eliminating Opportunity Gaps Through Cooking
    Posted on 05/31/2017
    Ingraham High School students test the dishes they cooked.

    Preparing Students for Career, College, Life!

    They walked slowly up the stairs, around a dark corner and down a long hall toward Tom Douglas’ Hot Stove Society kitchen just off 4th Avenue in downtown Seattle. Inside, greeting them was the sharp clanging of pots and pans on a hot gas stove, a giant vent above spreading the aroma of poached king salmon, grilled asparagus, and freshly chopped ramps, and the voices of their culinary teachers for the afternoon who warmly greeted them in unison, “Hello and welcome!” In that moment, the more than two-dozen Ingraham High School students staring back were ready to slice, sauté, peel, puree, fry and even fricassee, earning credit for their second-year culinary class, “ProStart”. 

    “ProStart” is a nationwide high school program offered through Ingraham High School and designed to help students combine classroom and restaurant industry skills. It is also one of many programs Seattle Public Schools (SPS) offers under our Career Technical Education (CTE) curriculum to help students prepare for success in their career, college, and life, and help eliminate opportunity gaps.

    The recent Ingraham high school visit to Stove Society Kitchen was part field trip, part partnership with Tom Douglas Restaurants where students got the chance to learn from some of the best in the culinary business. Managing partner and famed chef, Eric Tanaka, taught the sophomores and juniors hands-on, culinary techniques and skills they can use at home or in a growing restaurant industry that employs 14 million people or about one out of every ten working Americans. For many students, the path to a job right out of school can lead to ending a family cycle of poverty by helping to eliminate opportunity gaps.

    “These classes are really important to teach kids how to cook for themselves and cook deliciously,” said Chef Tanaka. “We feel it’s an important step to educating people… it’s just trying to add back to the community for us.”

    Their day spent at the Hot Stove Society kitchen is one these students will not soon forget.



    Here is more information on the district’s CTE program.

    Here is more information on the district’s strategies for eliminating opportunity gaps.