San Marcos High School plans to start an entirely new Culinary Program for students in Fall, 2013. A portion of the cafeteria kitchen and dining area is currently being refurbished into a multipurpose instructional and functional kitchen. The program will focus on nutrition, sanitation, basic cooking and food preparation. The program will teach students practical skills and provide food service to Café Royale, the faculty and administration dining facility.

The San Marcos High School Royal Pride Foundation is working with Nancy Weiss, the Santa Barbara School District Director of Nutritional Services, in order to equip the kitchen with the necessary appliances and bring the facility up to Health Department standards. San Marcos is seeking equipment donations from restaurants in the Santa Barbara community to help finish equipping the kitchen. Currently San Marcos is in need of a commercial gas range and griddle, a three compartment sink, and a food prep sink.

If you are interested in making a tax deductible equipment donation or supporting the launch of the SMHS Culinary Program, please contact the Royal Pride Foundation Director of Development, Matt Laband at

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  1. RexOfSB says:

    If ever there was an idea that makes total sense, this is it! The only two things I wonder about are (1) why did no one think of this before; and (2) why isn’t a similar kitchen program being done at all local high schools? Talk about killing several birds with one stone. Way ta go, San Marcos! Maybe if this proves successful, they can even have “community days” every once in a while, where the public can be served.

  2. Alisa says:

    What a wonderful win-win situation for the students, teachers & staff and community. Way to go Principal Behrens and San Marcos High School!

  3. Charlotte says:

    Actually, Dos Pueblos has been running an ROP ( Regional Occupational Program) since 1985. Same concept as San Marcos, with The Charger Inn as the restaurant simulation, serving faculty. I was in the program for three years and it was my favorite class. We learned how to plan a menu, prep, cook, bake, BBQ, serve etc. A wonderful program…I hope D.P. is still offering it.

  4. Rob says:

    Here is a 3 compartment sink they might want donate.
    Wouldn’t hurt to ask. PS. I wish
    they where doing this when I was in high school, great opportunity
    for the kids.

  5. Spank13 says:

    As the article stated, this is a rework of an existing program that is much more in line with the excellent program at SBCC.

  6. Cris says:

    Yeah I was apart of the ROP program at DP for two years and it was probably the best class I had while there. Mrs. Folan was a life changer for me and became my second mom.

  7. Charlotte says:

    Mrs. Folan rocks! She was one of my all time favorite teachers. I still run into her once in awhile, she’s still the same wonderfully salty gal with a heart of gold.

  8. Paul W says:

    I loved that program at DP myself, although I was only in
    it for a year. Loved Mrs. Folan!! Yep. I was thinking the same
    thing as previous posters. This has been happening at DP for quite
    some time.

  9. Charlotte says:

    Carpenteria H.S. has a culinary program as well. From what I’ve read, they invested a lot of $$ in the program, the kitchen is amazing. Money well spent in my opinion. Not all kids are academically strong or even remotely interested in high school or even college for that matter and often just drop out. Culinary programs open up a whole new world for these kids….good stuff.

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