C-CAP on the front burnerWhile the students competed for the culinary school scholarships, their teachers looked on, drank coffee and chatted, jittery not only for the teenagers they had coached and taught, and in some cases driven to the competition, but for the continued existence of the program.
After 15 years, Los Angeles Unified School District did not renew its contract with this year to save money. For next year, each school must decide whether to spend $3,500, which pays to train a teacher, bring in visiting chefs and facilitate internships and other opportunities. This year, 30 schools took part.
Andi Phillips, a culinary teacher at John Marshall High School, has e-mailed alumni to raise money. Other teachers said they too would look for alternatives if their schools can't cover C-CAP. Grausman and L.A. program director Mitzie Cutler met with the teachers and principals after the ceremony to plead their case to keep C-CAP in the schools.
Patricia Scott, LAUSD's home economics teacher expert, said she thinks many principals will decide to continue the C-CAP relationship as part of high school preparation for food industry careers. More than 4,600 students take culinary classes, the district said.
Those interested in helping can make tax-deductible donations to C-CAP, designating that the contribution support the program in Los Angeles, through the website networkforgood.org; enter "Careers Through Culinary Arts" in the "charity name" box.
-- Mary MacVean