World Central Kitchen training. Too many cooks in the kitchen? Not this time…

Together, we can cook up a solid, stable future for Seattle Culinary Academy

This fall, students and staff at Seattle Culinary Academy trained with World Central Kitchen, an inspiring nonprofit founded by Chef José Andrés. Their mission: bringing chef-prepared meals to communities struggling through natural and human-made disasters, including war.

We learned ways to prepare nutritious, good-tasting meals at scale, and how food can be a catalyst for social and economic recovery. It’s knowledge we may use one day as volunteers in other parts of the country or world. It’s also expertise that may be useful close to home if disaster strikes around Seattle.

To help us be ready, World Central Kitchen left behind this 5-foot-wide skillet.

I can’t look at it, the delicious Arroz con Pollo, or the many people helping stir, and not feel a deep sense of purpose in what we teach here. Food and community are inseparable.

At the Seattle Culinary Academy, we’ve felt that very directly this year. As you probably know, back in the spring our home, Seattle Central College, hit a budget wall. Mostly it stemmed from a steep decline in overall enrollment due to COVID. That made covering high-cost programs like ours even more difficult than usual. SCA was considered for sunsetting.

But then, in the beautiful way that people rally in times of crisis, the community stepped up. Members of the legislature said they’d try to help. People in the hospitality industry made contributions, noting how much they depend on our grads. Hundreds of food-loving Seattleites made donations, as did alums.

It’s like with the Arroz con Pollo: everyone grabbing a stirring paddle and taking a turn.

If we sustain that spirit, and together build a broad, durable base of financial support, I’m confident that SCA’s proud eighty-year history will continue far into the future.

It has to! Think of the legacy, including some of the most celebrated chefs in our city: Kathy Casey, Kristi Brown of Communion, Garrett Doherty of Lionhead, Guillermo Carreno of Autumn, Donnie Adams, and Paolo Campbell of The Chicken Supply — to name only a few.

Can you be part of it? Our recipe for sustainability involves offsetting some program costs with direct public support. Here are representative examples of things we need in our kitchen and instructional café:

$50 | 3 professional rolling pins

$150 | 10 large rubber spatulas

$250 | 1 month of linen service

$500 | 60 flatware settings

$1,000 | 3 dozen dinner plates

However you can help, thank you! Here's the link.

Aimee LePage
Interim Associate Dean, Seattle Culinary Academy

Aimee LePage

P.S. Perhaps consider a second gift, too? World Central Kitchen is so extraordinary and important. A donation to them is another great outlet for your year-end generosity. Click here.

Seattle Culinary Academy