'Chef's Apprentice at Patina Restaurant' Gives Underserved LA Youth Real Life Skills

Apprenticeship Program Provides Opportunity for Teens at A Place Called Home and Santee Education Complex to Shadow Patina's Award Winning Executive Chef Tony Esnault

Mar 16, 2011, 08:00 ET from Patina

LOS ANGELES, March 16, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Patina Restaurant, the award-winning Relais & Chateaux restaurant that represents the highest culinary contemporary French cuisine, announced today a partnership with A Place Called Home (APCH), a safe haven for underserved youth.  Along with Santee Education Complex High School, a supportive and caring academic institution, the new program called Chef's Apprentice at Patina Restaurant, will begin in April 2011.

Chef's Apprentice at Patina Restaurant will engage teens passionate about culinary arts and provide APCH members and Santee students the opportunity to learn the art of cooking and gain invaluable life skills and confidence in a fast-paced restaurant kitchen setting.

"We are honored to partner with such important institutions such as A Place Called Home and Santee Education Complex, in developing this unique apprenticeship," said Joachim Splichal, master chef and founder, Patina Restaurant.  "Patina Restaurant looks forward to helping students pursue their culinary dreams and provide opportunities they might not have had available to them."

Participants in the program will shadow Patina Restaurant's award winning Executive Chef Tony Esnault, recipient of the highly coveted four-star Los Angeles Times review.  He will lead the apprenticeship and introduce his 'apprentices' to everything from general kitchen orientation and basic cooking skills to the art of French cooking and overall menu preparation.

Apprentices will begin their tenure at Patina Restaurant following a 30-day APCH kitchen internship and job readiness-training program.

"Working with Patina Restaurant and A Place Called Home elevates the future opportunities of our youth in this community, which can ultimately improve the community's future. This is truly an exciting relationship," said Young Choi, college and career coordinator, Santee Education Complex. Tarabu Betserai Kirkland, director of programs, A Place Called Home remarked, "We are confident each apprentice will not only acquire invaluable skills in the kitchen with Chef Esnault, but also take what they learn and apply it to many other aspects in their lives."

At the end of the three-month apprenticeship, students will participate in a one night celebratory event at Patina Restaurant to demonstrate their newly gained knowledge and prepare a multi-course fine dining meal for guests within the APCH organization.  Additionally, Patina Restaurant will provide the apprentice with the chance to interview for a position within the Patina Restaurant Group, a bi-coastal company with approximately 60 restaurants and food service operations.

For more information on Patina Restaurant, please visit www.patinarestaurant.com or A Place Called Home, www.APCH.org.

About Patina

Located in the spectacular Walt Disney Concert Hall in Downtown Los Angeles, our flagship restaurant Patina expresses the highest culinary ideals of Master Chef Joachim Splichal. This Relais & Chateaux property pampers its guests with seasonal tasting menus, gourmet cheeses, caviar service, and an award-winning wine list. The recipient of a prestigious Michelin star, Patina's elegant al fresco dining, stylish late night cocktail bar and always-impeccable service, define luxury dining on the West Coast.

A Place Called Home

A Place Called Home is a safe haven in South Central Los Angeles where underserved youth are empowered to take ownership of the quality and direction of their lives through programs in education, arts, and well-being; and are inspired to make a meaningful difference in their community and the world. APCH's dynamic programs were recognized as one of the "Top 50 Teaching Examples" in the United States at the President's Summit in 1997, and again received presidential acknowledgement with the "America's Promise Award" in 2003. Today APCH celebrates its 18th year going strong—more than 16,000 youth have been served directly, as well as tens of thousands more family and community members through food, clothing and toy giveaways and community events. It is the love and support of donors, volunteers and sponsors that sustains APCH, its gifted staff, superb programs and, most of all, the courageous kids who inspire us all.

Santee Linked Learning at Santee Education Complex

The "student work component" of Santee Linked Learning is a rigorous program that teaches students the importance of discipline, responsibility, and self worth. The program partners with local prominent businesses and organizations to create authentic work-based learning opportunities for students, while providing structure to ensure a win-win for all involved parties.  The "grades come first" program has placed students in local community based organizations, hospital, elementary school, and restaurants, where students can learn about job etiquette skills and workplace expectations. The program's goal is to instill in the students a strong sense of work ethics and self confidence so that they may succeed in and after high school, and ultimately contribute to the enhancement of their community.