The Courtyard Café Culinary Arts Youth Program is a comprehensive culinary arts training program held at Donald E. Long Juvenile Justice Complex. While enrolled in a year long program, the students explore their creativity while also learning valuable professional and practical skills. Our goal is that students complete the program with a renewed sense of pride and an enhanced work ethic. Classes are held Thursdays and Fridays from 4-7pm in the kitchen at Donald E. Long. The program lasts the length of the school year, culminating in a paid internship for qualifying students. If applicable, the students wages go to help pay their restitution for victims of their crime.
Our students have worked at Ovations, Two Tarts Bakery, Sina Baking, and here in our own kitchen. We are proud that we have graduates of our program that have gone on to culinary school and have found work in the food service industry. Since our first class began on April 15th 2008, we have had over 70 students participate in the Prostart Culinary Arts Program.
The Culinary Arts Youth Program is taught by Kimberly Pidcoke, a trained chef with 16 years of cooking experience in fine dining establishments. The coursework is based on the Prostart Program, developed by the National Restaurant Association. Prostart is traditionally taught over two years in a high school classroom. We have condensed this program into 9 months that represents over 200 hours of class and kitchen time. The students benefit from hours of experience in the juvenile justice complex’s commercial kitchen. The students are able to translate these hours into credits toward their high school diploma. They can also transfer some credits to Mount Hood Community College’s Hospitality and Tourism Program. Some of the Culinary Arts Program coursework includes: bread baking, cake decorating, basic stocks and sauces, methods of cooking, kitchen terms, knife skills, menu planning, and international cuisine. There is also a strong focus on resume writing, interviewing, and customer service.
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