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Chef opens culinary school for youth in Downtown San Diego

Chef opens culinary school for youth in Downtown San Diego
Posted at 5:46 PM, Mar 14, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-14 21:13:47-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — A San Diego chef is teaching teens the art of cooking. He opened a new culinary school, in downtown, after losing his job during the pandemic.

“The passion that you have for the people that you are serving that makes itself a great food,” says Chef Sorhab Zardkoohi.

He has been teaching culinary arts for nearly 20 years, but he lost his job during the pandemic like many others. Last November, he decided to open the California Culinary Arts Institute.

“I wanted to start something on my own. When I started this school, I realized this school is not just for me.”

The students are learning everything they need to maneuver in the kitchen. The classes are for students 10 to 17 years old.

“The first day of this program for the teens, we teach kitchen safety and knife skills; how they work with knives at the table, how to be safe, and also for the safely of others that they work with.”

Chef Zardkoohi says the entire culinary program is a French and Italian foundation. He says the number one ingredient for all dishes is the passion for serving others.

“It is not the love for the food. It is how it’s done for people. It is how you make people feel about that.”

Zardkoohi is working with the non-profit Solutions For Change which offers services to homeless families. He says for every five students that enroll in his class; he will offer a child from the Monarch School a scholarship for free enrollment.

The California Culinary Arts Institute is in the process of creating an externship at the school. Their patio will be turned into a dining hall, and students will have the opportunity to learn how to operate and manage a restaurant.