We are thrilled to share news of our new partnership with Truth Be Told Tavern inside The Study at University of Chicago. As part of our Industry Exploration programming, our Culinary Arts Apprentices participated in a cooking collaboration with Head Chef Anthony and Pastry Chef Elaine at our center in the Francie Comer Cafe. Chef Anthony walked through the most efficient way to “fabricate” a whole chicken or break it down, debone it, and separate each part.
After our apprentices practiced this new technique, they used the chicken breast to create a beautiful entree to be featured on Truth Be Told’s menu at their highly-regarded, British-inspired restaurant. Proceeds from the grilled chicken with corn fritters and an English pea succotash menu item the apprentices came up with will benefit the center. Besides the chicken, everything in the entree consists of produce harvested by Comer Corps Interns from our two-acre farm and hydroponics lab. Our apprentices also worked with Pastry Chef Elaine to create cherry scones and a strawberry yogurt parfait with fruit picked from the farm.
“Our apprentices had a wonderful opportunity to create items from scratch with professional chefs, explore this career option from a new perspective, and see if it’s a path they would like to pursue.”
- Co-Center Director Remington Price.
The next phase of our partnership with Truth Be Told will be hosting our Youth Made Market this July and August in The Study Hotel lobby featuring art, fashion, accessories, and other items handmade by our youth. As part of our entrepreneurial education offering, we help our members develop their own products along with guidance on how to price, promote, sell, and invest their proceeds into their personal passion venture. We are working with professional fine artists from Pigment International to help mentor and assist our youth artists as they bring their creativity to market!
About our Culinary Arts department
Our Culinary Arts team prepares youth for successful futures in collaboration with our Urban Agriculture department, which provides fresh produce from our two-acre farm, hydroponics lab, and rooftop garden. We have three distinct yet connected culinary arts programs. Comer Cooking introduces middle schoolers to cooking, baking, and produce harvesting while encouraging them to prepare healthy meals and snacks for themselves and their family. Our teen Pre-Apprentice program provides an in-depth exploration of culinary arts, hospitality, and food service industries while earning foundational culinary credentials. And our USDA-sanctioned Apprentice program prepares them to enter the hospitality and culinary arts workforce immediately upon conclusion if they choose via industry-specific certifications, on-the-job training, and soft skill development.