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Kids in the pressure cooker

June 4, 2009 |  4:24 pm


For several years, top L.A. chefs Michael Cimarusti, Conny Andersson, Neal Fraser and the staff at Spago have been mentoring young prospective chefs as part of the Los Angeles CCAP (Careers Through Culinary Arts Program).

For these kids, the experience can mean the difference between a career cooking lobster ragout at Providence or flipping burgers at Mickey D’s. But few students make it all the way to these coveted internships.

The film "Pressure Cooker," opening Friday at two L.A. Laemmle theaters, tells the compelling story of three would-be teen chefs who emerge from the chaos of their South Philly neighborhood to successfully compete -- "Top Chef"-style -- for such an experience. More than a dry documentary, says S.T. VanAirsdale of the Reeler, “It's a competition film, it's a coming-of-age story, it's a profile in courage.” 

The film runs throughout the week and on Sunday, a group of young Los Angeles CCAP aspirants will be on hand at the Laemmle Sunset 5 theater to tell their stories and answer questions after the 4:20 and 7:10 p.m. showings. See the trailer here.

Laemmle’s Sunset 5, 8000 W. Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, (323) 848-3500; Laemmle’s Playhouse 7, 673 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena (626) 844-6500.

-- Linda Burum

Photo caption: A scene from "Pressure Cooker." Photo credit: Participant Media.