EWDD General Manager Jan Perry (front row, fourth from left) poses with LAHTA instructor Chef Mitchell Frieder (back row, center) and current Culinary Apprenticeship Program students
LA CityView Channel 35 debuted “Preparing for a Career in Hospitality,” on March 7, 2018, a 6-minute video sponsored by EWDD highlighting how aspiring chefs can receive culinary training through the City of Los Angeles Economic and Workforce Department and the Los Angeles Hospitality Training Academy (LAHTA).

The video includes testimonials from a successful LAHTA graduate who now works in the kitchen at the Sheraton Gateway LAX, along with interviews from executive chefs at area hotels and the Staples Center outlining opportunities in LA’s growing hospitality industry.

“Culinary arts is particularly exciting because it has no boundaries on age. Young or old, you are able to work in culinary arts,” said EWDD General Manager Jan Perry, who was also featured in the video.

Jan praised EWDD partner LAHTA for being a tremendous partner and for providing low-income individuals free-of-charge, hands on training for jobs in the leisure and hospitality industry, which is one of the largest employment sectors in Los Angeles.

LAHTA Culinary Apprenticeship student practices her knife skills while julienning carrots
LAHTA Culinary Apprenticeship student practices her knife skills while julienning carrots
Hospitality, which provides more than 355,000 jobs throughout the region, is expected to grow, with an estimated nearly 19,000 jobs to be added this year.

EWDD and the City of Los Angeles Workforce Development Board (WDB) provide grant financing to LAHTA, who acts as an intermediary to train WorkSource Center participants for jobs in the hospitality industry.

As part of the video, LAHTA instructor Chef Mitchell Frieder led a cooking demonstration of what LAHTA students learn with 12-year-old chef prodigy Zion Otaño, who was featured in Man vs. Chief: Chef Showdown on the FYI network. Watch the video on the LA CityView Channel 35 YouTube channel.

“We teach all the basic culinary techniques in terms of braising, sautéing, frying, working with all kinds of different foods,” Mitchell said. “More importantly is how to handle one’s self on the cook’s line to work with speed and efficiency to produce meal after meal consistently, to be an excellent line cook at one of the properties where we place them.”

The culinary training continues at the Southeast Los Angeles WorkSource Center, run by EWDD partner Watts Labor Community Action Committee, where a class of 14 students recently held an LAHTA Culinary Apprenticeship Dinner Buffet.
LAHTA Culinary Apprenticeship student learns how to prepare a delicate sauce
LAHTA Culinary Apprenticeship student learns how to prepare a delicate sauce

The buffet, prepared by LAHTA's current Culinary Apprenticeship Program students, featured a menu of poached, chilled salmon, coq au vin, sautéed flounder, chicken fricassee, Korean kalbi jim, braised sweet and sour pork, and tasty reuben and Italian sub sandwiches. The students, who receive support services from EWDD’s Boyle Heights, Watts/LA and Wilshire Metro WorkSource Centers, served the gourmet buffet to practice preparing food for large banquets and events.

One student, whose previous job in the kitchen included “preparing hundreds of rice balls,” proudly showed the vegetables he prepared for the Poule au Pot, a gourmet chicken soup dish served that night.

Prospective employers for the students include the Westin Bonaventure, the Beverly Wilshire and Flying Food Group, a caterer for international airlines and retailers. With nearly 250 available hospitality positions available through LAHTA in early March, EWDD and LAHTA will continue working together to find and train candidates looking to find roles in the region’s growing leisure and hospitality industry.

Learn more about EWDD Employment Services and WorkSource Centers and what they can help you achieve.

This story is part of the EWDD UPDATES from the week of 3/5/2018. Read this issue and more.