A one-of-a-kind facility focusing on the culinary arts and education will open on King Street in College Park.
The Emeril Lagasse Kitchen House & Culinary Garden
, a joint venture between Florida Hospital for Children, Orlando Junior Academy and the Emeril Lagasse Foundation, will support OJA's Edible Education Experience – a program providing education, gardening and cooking skills to the school's pupils – and is the first of its kind in the country built specifically to give children a seed-to-plate education.
The two-story house includes a reception area, in addition to a modern kitchen equipped with gas stoves, prep stations, storage and refrigeration areas.
Looking down onto the kitchen
The community garden, watered by cisterns that catch rain water from the building's roof, is a beaut with a variety of herbs, fruits and vegetables tended to by ex-firefighter Brad Jones.
The idea for the Kitchen House was born from a conversation Jones and chef Kevin Fonzo of K Restaurant had 10 years ago, which led to a curriculum being established at OJA, a private Seventh-day Adventist K-8 school, seven years ago. Since then, Fonzo, along with Edible Education Experience executive director Janice Banks and chef/teacher Sarah Cahill, have taught OJA students gardening and cooking skills as well as the basics of nutrition.
Patio view. The Kitchen House will play host to food events.
The Kitchen House and garden will help better facilitate the curriculum but, more than that, the 3,500-square-foot facility will also play host to food-related events.
Fonzo invited in a few friends April 2 for a soiree and sneak peek, but anticipates Kitchen House opening in a couple of weeks.