Celebrity chef donates cookbooks to HISD culinary arts students

Barbara Jordan Career Center culinary arts students hosted their senior chef celebration Thursday, April 13, where they received a generous donation from chef, author, and television host Jocelyn Delk Adams.

“I’m very proud that we were selected for this,” said Culinary Arts Director Tamika Lewis. “This is such an amazing opportunity for the students, and we’re just so honored.”

Each student received their own copy of Adams’ award-winning cookbook Everyday Grand.

Inspired by her grandmother, Adams is committed to helping chefs-in-the-making by providing them with resources to help enhance their culinary skills and reach their career goals.

“The cookbook publicist, who works for the Barbara Jordan Foundation in Dallas, reached out to us to set up this book donation,” said Principal Ross McAlpine. “Now, students can see that cookbooks are still important and not everything can be learned through YouTube.”

The students also received certificates of recognition from the U.S. Army Recruiting Command and number one ranked culinary arts college in the U.S., The Lenotre Culinary Institute, who partners with Barbara Jordan Career Center to educate students on the many career opportunities offered once they graduate high school.

After the presentation, the aspiring chefs wasted no time opening their new cookbooks as they provided family members and community partners with a step-by-step live demonstration of one of its recipes.

HISD Career Readiness Executive Director Kaire Hopson Onajobi and HISD community partner Alfreda’s Soul Food Owner Troy Williams were thrilled to join in and assist with preparing Chef Adam’s buttermilk fried shrimp.  

Once the presentation concluded, guests were allowed to line up to enjoy a menu prepared by the culinary arts students which featured honey-glazed carrots, green beans with potatoes, oven-fried catfish bites, buttermilk fried shrimp, orange-honey barbeque wings, peach cobbler bread pudding and more.

“It was nice for them to give back to our students,” said McAlpine. “Today provided an opportunity for our parents and community partners to come together to see what our students are capable of doing, and we’re grateful.”

To learn more information about Barbara Jordan Career Center’s culinary program, click here.