Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Chefs Add Flavor to High School Cooking Program

Seventeen-year-old Marissa Diaz has a secret -- she loves watching Julia Child's old cooking shows.

She admits that viewing reruns of the late, warbly-voiced kitchen icon isn't the usual video-watching fare of teenagers. But the trailblazing celebrity chef, who made French cuisine accessible to many Americans, inspires Diaz.

"I recently watched her make a fish fillet," the excitable teen said. "She was adding scallops, lobster, eel -- let your imagination go wild!"

Diaz, along with a half-dozen classmates from Adrian Wilcox High School in Santa Clara, experienced all things cooking Saturday. They worked alongside renowned chefs Martin Yan and Sir Roy Salazar at the Art of Home Show at the Santa Clara Convention Center.

The Wilcox students, as well as several from Peterson Middle School in Sunnyvale on Friday, assisted the chefs and even gave their own cooking demonstrations. They are enrolled in the Santa Clara Unified School District's culinary arts program, part of the district's vocational education courses, which range from fashion design to automotive technology.

"It's a great way for kids to link into something they love," said Tabitha Kappeler-Hurley, spokeswoman for the district's career education program. "And maybe they'll make a career of it."

Read the complete story here.

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