New MPS program puts kids on the culinary track

Posted at 8:34 PM, Sep 27, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-27 21:45:49-04

More than a dozen local chefs are leaving their own busy kitchens for a few hours every week, to donate their time and help Milwaukee high school students learn how to cook.

It's all part of a new MPS culinary program. Chef Daniel Jacobs, the owner of DANDAN, is sharing everything he knows with a group of students at Washington High School.

"This is our future of our industry. Right here. And if we don't start engaging these people now, we're not going to have an industry," Jacobs said.

The goal of MPS' new two-year Pro-Start Culinary Program is two-fold - to fill the need for skilled labor in the growing restaurant scene here, and to provide true career readiness for Milwaukee high school students.

"This career is an awesome opportunity. I felt very similarly when I was in high school. Kind of didn't know what I was going to do. I found this, found a passion for it. Hopefully my passion will ignite in somebody the same kind of feeling about cooking."

"I'm thankful for having a good chef teacher and learning stuff I haven't learned before, so it's a great opportunity for me to go out in the world and cook for other people," Senior Lakaisa Fowler says.

It's already having an impact on students, especially senior Leora Wells, who just applied to culinary school.

"It means a lot because they look out for us, and they actually do hands-on things with us, and we get to learn more.  It's just an amazing program to be in," Wells said.

The program needs more resources to thrive. A fundraising gala with both professional chefs and student chefs is Wednesday from 5:30 to 8:30 at Discovery World.

Entree to Excellence  - A Night with the Chefs of Today and Tomorrow
Wed 9/28 5:30-8:30pm @ Discovery World
Get event info here.