CULINARY ARTS PROGRAM
The Culinary Arts Program supports individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) interested in learning the skills necessary for a career in the culinary arts field, including cooking, food service, banquet service, catering, and general maintenance. The program combines theory and practical application of skills and abilities, and readies individuals with IDD for gainful employment in the food service industry where they might otherwise lack work opportunities.
Culinary Arts provides facilitation in the kitchen, banquet hall, conference room, and a classroom setting, which includes support, assistance, and training in the culinary arts services. Within the scope of the activity, skill areas are addressed which increase self-sufficiency, interaction with others, and satisfaction in life. With guidance from Culinary Arts staff, participants determine their own specific, culinary-oriented goals and/or objectives.
The Arc LAOC has developed a rich array of resources that includes Executive Chefs as lead trainers, a large, 2000 sq. ft., state-of-the-art commercial kitchen, and a beautifully renovated, fully operational banquet hall seating 150. These facilities, collectively known as The Reagan Center and Banquet Hall, serve as a training facility to participants while engaging the general public to be a part of their overall experience.
Feeding the Body and Mind
Our experienced Executive Chefs offer thorough training in all areas of food service, nourishing both body (with delicious, innovative, healthy meals) and mind. Areas addressed include:
- Food preparation, including a variety of appetizers, salads, main entrees, desserts, breakfast, and lunch items.
- Cooking techniques for expedited meal preparation, large meals for banquets, and short order requests.
- Equipment operation utilizing stoves, ovens, mixers, meat slicers, fryers, warmers, refrigeration, etc.
- Maintenance of the entire Reagan Center and Banquet Hall including cleaning of equipment, tables, floors, and use of industrial equipment for washing dishes and utensils.
- Sanitation, including the safe and proper storage and disposal of all food products.
- Safety in a fast-paced culinary environment.
Instructional Strategies include modeling and demonstration, hand over hand assistance, repetition of instructions and demonstrations, task analysis, guest instructors, and community outings to local restaurants and other locations with potential culinary teaching opportunities.
All practices are engaged at each individual’s pace and learning style.
Check out the article in the LA Times about our Culinary Arts and Catering programs!
For more information about the Culinary Arts Program, please contact:
Chef Bev Lazo-Gonzalez