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[Updated] Students' future might start with tuna tartar

September 29, 2009 | 11:42 am

Tuna1Tuna tartar isn't normally on the menu at Hollywood High School, but a group of students interested in food service careers got to taste the dish made by a master, chef Shigefumi Tachibe of Chaya Restaurant Group.

Tachibe went to the school recently to demonstrate the dish and to challenge the students to replicate his work as well as to customize a tuna tartar to their own style. Chaya has "adopted" Hollywood High, along with Westchester and West Adams high schools. Chefs will work with students in school and host students at the restaurants, as well as offer some internships.

It's part of the Careers through Culinary Arts Program, which has programs in 15 L.A. Unified schools. C-CAP provides training in high schools in cities around the country; the 19-year-old program has given more than $28 million in scholarship money for culinary programs.


Like many other things, funding for C-CAP has been squeezed, and the efforts "to develop the next generation of talented young chefs is in jeopardy," said Mitzie Cutler, program director of the Los Angeles chapter of the program.

The Beverly Hillls Chaya restaurant turns 25 next month, and is holding a fund-raiser for C-CAP on Oct. 25.

UPDATED:  And earlier version of this post incorrectly said that C-CAP has given more than $3 million in scholarship money. The total is more than $28 million.

-- Mary MacVean

(Photos: Chef Shigefumi Tachibe, top, serves his tuna tartar during class at Hollywood High School. The finished product, bottom. Photos by Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)