LAUSD Launches Food Truck Program to Empower Students and Cultivate Future Chefs

Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) is revving up its culinary program with a brand new initiative – a student-run food truck program! This innovative project, announced by Superintendent Alberto Carvalho, offers students a unique opportunity to showcase their culinary skills while gaining valuable real-world business experience.

(Howard Freshman)

The program, spearheaded by a collaboration between LAUSD, software company Intuit, and celebrity chef Roy Choi, equips students with top-of-the-line tools. Two professional food trucks, boasting commercial-grade kitchens, will become mobile classrooms for students enrolled in career technical education programs at Maywood Academy High School and John H. Francis Polytechnic High School.

This initiative aligns perfectly with Carvalho's emphasis on post-graduation pathways. As he highlights, "We don't want a single student leaving high school without a clear direction, be it college or a career and technical program."

Students participating in the program will take the reins, handling everything from preparing delicious dishes to promoting the food trucks and managing the business side of things. This hands-on approach is already proving to be a recipe for success.

"It's engaging, fun, and interesting," says Maywood culinary program student Francisco Delatoree. "This program has rekindled my passion for cooking. I used to rarely cook, but now I'm making meals for my family!"

Senior Emiliano Ponce sees the program as a valuable stepping stone towards his future. "It opens up so many possibilities," he shares. "I've always loved cooking, and this program is helping me decide if I want to pursue a culinary career."

Celebrity chef Roy Choi, known for his innovative approach to food and his iconic Kogi food truck, is a key player in this program. He encourages students to embrace their heritage and cultural influences in their culinary creations. "This food truck represents not just an opportunity, but also yourselves and your culture," Choi emphasizes. He adds, "Even the smallest idea can make a big difference, from a single neighborhood to the entire world."

Carvalho himself took an unconventional path to education, working various jobs before entering the education field. His experience with career-oriented education fuels his passion for this program. "[Career and technical education] is a viable and important option for students," he says, reflecting on his own journey.

Carvalho envisions the program expanding beyond culinary arts. His goal is to offer a diverse range of career and technical opportunities, preparing students for success in various industries, from technology and entertainment to service fields.

This exciting announcement isn't just about equipping students with culinary skills and business acumen; it's about empowering them to shape their futures and potentially become the next generation of culinary stars. So, keep an eye out for these LAUSD food trucks – you might just discover the next Roy Choi on wheels!

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