Compton High's new food truck program teaches students kitchen skills, financial literacy

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Monday, September 25, 2023
Compton program teaches students kitchen skills, financial literacy
Compton High just received a food truck with a full commercial grade kitchen for a program that teaches students valuable kitchen skills as well as financial literacy.

COMPTON, Calif. (KABC) -- Compton High School Culinary arts students like Stephanie Hernandez have been learning the art of cooking up fine cuisine in the classroom. There's been one problem: the program at the school has not had a kitchen for a decade.

So what's the next best thing? Get a food truck with a full commercial grade kitchen so the students can actually cook up some tasty dishes. This was made possible by Intuit.

"We're getting the food truck and it's going to be a new experience. We're going to do everything hands on and I'm very excited for it," said Hernandez.

"It changed everything. Because now I can get into all the basics. We can do knife skills. We can start on the grill; there's a flat top deep fryer so we can actually go through all the cooking methods and put everything that we were learning about last year into action," said Virginia Cortez, culinary arts teacher.

"The Intuit food program was actually inspired by a conversation we had with Compton," said Dave Zasada, V.P. of education with Intuit's corporate responsibility team.

That conversation alerted Intuit that culinary arts students at Compton High were in the classroom but without a kitchen.

"We learned that Compton was facing a problem," said Zasada. "Their culinary arts students were struggling to get access to a commercial grade kitchen. But they also had an idea for a solution. And that solution was to purchase a food truck to be able to give access to a commercial grade kitchen to all of its students. And when we heard that, we were in; we wanted to be involved."

Intuit donated a food truck equipped with a commercial grade kitchen so students can put their cooking skills on the skillet, grill and oven. The Intuit food truck program provides students the resources needed to succeed.

The program engages students to learn not only cooking skills but also how to manage and operate a food truck business.

"It's going to be awesome because it's going to be real hands on experience," said Cortez.

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