High schoolers prepare holiday luncheon for hundreds at The Prado in Balboa Park

Posted at 5:24 PM, Nov 16, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-16 21:06:11-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - More than 350 people enjoyed a holiday luncheon Thursday at The Prado Restaurant in Balboa Park prepared by high schoolers. 

The 20th Thanksgiving Gourmet Luncheon raises money for Garfield High School, whose culinary arts program prepares much of the luncheon.

“You know I’m really, really proud of what we’ve done but we haven’t done it ourselves,” said Lesley Cohn whose Cohn Restaurant Group has hosted the event for two decades.

The culinary arts program gives students real-world experience in the kitchen while the luncheon allows them to show off their skills real customers. Cohn said it often increases a passion for the job.

Two employees in The Prado kitchen got their beginning at Garfield High School.

“I’m heartened by the fact that we’ve made a difference in a lot of children’s lives, young adult lives,” said Cohn.

The luncheon has raised more than $500,000 in two decades.