A Cooking Class With An Iron Chef

Words by: Steve Larosiliere Photos by: Emily Winiker

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What's an interesting experience you've recently had in your life?

Some of our students had the chance to take a cooking class with an Iron Chef!

An Iron Chef, yes...

A few years ago, Ninja Jonathan introduced us to Marc Forgione who came to an event and quickly became a supporter.

Marc is a passionate outdoorsman and snowboarder.

He also saw the parallels between cooking and action sports...

It's hard work. It's a passion-based lifestyle. It's community driven.

Marc cooked up the idea of teaching our older students the valuable life skills of making a meal for themselves.

So we put together a day where our junior and senior year students did a visit to his steakhouse American Cut.

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Before we went, the students were prepared as they always do -- armed with research and questions about Marc's life and career.

We prepped Marc on who the kids are, their background, interests, and aspirations.

When we arrived... the students were a bit overwhelmed...

This was definitely the most expensive restaurant they'd ever stepped in.

We were greeted by Marc -- with his signature mohawk, he proceeded to tell the group about his background and history.

He's so STOKED about cooking, restaurants, providing a great experience for his customers, his friends, and for our students.

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A real life Iron Chef in front of us... and he's a snowboarder, down to earth, and successful.

These are the qualities that we pass on to our students in our programs.

Marc is an ideal member of our community. Hardworking, passionate, and someone who gives a little bit of time to our students.

To mentor them. To give them hope and direction.

To give them a lifelong skill, like cooking.

After the talk, the students get changed into their serving attire.

Preparation for work.

Then they take a tour of the kitchen.

Then they break off into groups and learn about the different roles in the restaurant.

They start prepping for their lunch.

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The students couldn't believe this opportunity. Are they really cooking in a professional restaurant?

Their eyes opened up.

Could I work in this restaurant one day?

Could I eat here one day?

Imagine if I owned a restaurant like this...

Life and opportunities are about doors being opened. It's up to you to walk in and make the most of what's in the new room.

For our students, they got the chance to be mentored by one of the best chefs in the world.

After cooking the students set the table and served themselves.

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Over the meal they reflected on the day, their time in STOKED, and discussed the future and the their unlimited possibilities.

When we think about this day and this opportunity this is ideal. What would happen if you teach students new skills, surround themselves with mentors, and raise their expectations.

In the case of these students... they all graduated from high school and are now enrolled in college.

Thank you to Marc Forgione for this amazing opportunity.

If you want to provide opportunities for students to learn a new skill and you want to share your talents with our community, please reach out.

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