Lovin' Oven Culinary Academy
This extension to our Lovin' Oven program allows us to provide greater in-depth training and
practical experience for teens, preparing them for more meaningful jobs in the
hospitality industry. We launched LOCA in October 2019 thanks to a generous gift from Chuck and Cathy Williamson.
- The tourism industry is one of the largest private
employers in Sonoma County, with leisure and hospitality employment comprising
25 percent of the county total (Sonoma County Indicators 2017)
- Of the 61 businesses in Sonoma Valley that have employed TSS teens in the
last 5 years, 54% are directly involved in the hospitality industry, including
restaurants, hotels, and event service providers
- A recent survey of our graduates indicated that 67% begin
their employment experience in culinary and food service
- We will be able to offer in-depth industry-specific
training that will provide opportunities for teens to apply for jobs above the entry level
- We will be able to supply a highly-qualified and
much-needed workforce for local business partners
Course description: The Culinary Academy offers a free 30-hour course 6 times each year (5-6 participants in each cohort) that features :
food handler classes, knife skills, commercial kitchen/equipment basics,
cooking techniques (e.g. sauté, stocks/sauces, braising, roasting, cooking
grains/beans, etc.), real-world experience (cooking for the homeless), customer
service and front-of-house training (serving, bus person, hostess), practical
experience with creating or preparing for an event at TSS.
this program, teens receive job references, a Culinary Certificate, a $100 stipend and qualify
for an interview with our hospitality partners, including Ramekins, the girl
& the fig, and caterer Chef Bryan Jones.
During the course, 100% of
the students passed the online ServSafe exam. Following graduation, students
were asked to complete a satisfaction survey. The results were impressive.
- 100% rated the course as
extremely useful, gave kudos to the instructors, and would definitely recommend
LOCA to other teens.
- In the self-assessment on
particular skills, all students noted confidence in knife skills, increased
knowledge of cooking techniques used in a professional kitchen, a good understanding
of food safety standards, knowledge of international cuisines and hospitality
standards expected of a front-of-the-house employee, and an ability to execute
a pastry recipe independently.
- All agreed that what they
learned in LOCA increased their confidence to apply for a job and work
successfully in the food industry.
- I loved making all
different types of cuisine and getting to try new things throughout the course.
- It was so much fun and
I use all my techniques still.
- I feel super prepared
for anything and it gave me a liking for cooking. It was great.
- I have had growth in my
knowledge in the kitchen from the LOCA class. It has taught me everything from knifework
to baking to how to cook meat.
- The food was soooo good!
Our thanks to the 2019/20 supporters of LOCA:
|Chuck and Cathy Williamson|
Barbara Talbott and John Riley
Chef Bryan Jones
Glen Ellen Star
the girl & the fig
|Miranda Lux Foundation|
Sonoma County Tourism Bureau
Vadasz Family Foundation
|Scott Evans Family Foundation|
Jack London Yacht Club