MLK Prep Culinary Cafe opens to inspire the next generation of master chefs

A dream that’s been years in the making has finally come to fruition at MLK Prep!

MLK Prep now has an operational culinary arts kitchen where students will embrace their love of food.

Ladarrius Webb, ¬†Andri’el Ferguson, Myron Malone and Alexis Lawson are MLK Prep students who got the opportunity to be a few of the first of many students who will cook in the Culinary Cafe.

“It feels good,” Webb explained. “It’s something I’ve never done in school before. It’s a good experience to experience and I had fun too.”

Ferguson echoed that same sentiment.

“It feels good to do this in school because it’s something I’ve never done before,” Ferguson said. “I’m glad I had the chance to do it.”

The new Culinary Cafe has a state-of-the-art ventilation system, stoves, refrigerators, Kitchen Aid stand mixers, cooling stands and large restaurant-style counters where students can gather around and learn new techniques from culinary arts instructor Jennifer Chalmers.

“It makes my heart really happy to see students in this space learning culinary arts, embracing it and saying like ‘I like this. I can see myself doing this’ because I’m just about 20-years in and I still love it,” Chalmers expressed.

Chalmers has been a part of the phases of building the Culinary Cafe since the very beginning. Now, seeing the enthusiasm on her students’ faces leaves Chalmers’ heart full of joy.

“I tell students all the time, it’s hard but if it’s your passion then you can do it,” Chalmers exclaimed!

Malone agrees with his instructor and has his own hopes for future MLK Prep culinary arts students.

“I hope the students support MLK Prep and be proud of it,” Malone said.

Because Chalmers knows the kitchen is the heart of the family, she also knows the real work begins.

Chalmers is encouraged by the growing passion for culinary arts at MLK Prep. She hopes now to grow their own food on campus so the students can experience farm-to-table food.