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Patina to Make Local High Schoolers Apprentice Chefs

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Students from Santee's Culinary Program, Bistro Mundo, at Artisanal LA in October 2010 (Lindsay William-Ross/LAist)
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Chef Joachim Splichal of Patina has been the mentor for many chefs in Los Angeles, and is poised to expand his influence through a new partnership with the culinary program at the LAUSD's Santee Education Complex, a local high school, and South LA's A Place Called Home, a youth social service center. Patina will select apprentices for the program, which is due to begin next month, says the Daily Dish.The plan calls for the selected applicants to "shadow Patina’s executive chef, Tony Esnault, to learn the workings of the kitchen and basic skills in the contemporary French restaurant." Patina will host one or two such participants during each three-month apprenticeship period.

After the apprenticeship ends, the students' efforts could translate into a job...or a career. Their final task will be to prepare a meal at Patina, and then interview for a gig within the Patina Restaurant Group, which operates a few dozen restaurants.

The Santee culinary program is called Bistro Mundo [Twitter] and is run by instructor Brent Boultinghouse. They delighted attendees at the inaugural Artisanal LA event last fall with their homemade salsas, and made a great showing in a recent Jamie Oliver-hosted cook-off. Their program runs on a budget of about $1000 a year (yes, a year) from the LAUSD, and is supported by the generosity of produce donors like Tutti Frutti Farms , South Central Farmers, and McGrath Family Farms and industry professionals like studio production caterer Chef E.