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Patina announces apprentice program for high school students

March 15, 2011 |  8:00 am


Teenagers with a passion for cooking will get a chance to work in the four-star kitchen at Patina under a new apprentice program. The restaurant will work with Santee Education Complex, a high school near downtown Los Angeles, and a Place Called Home, a social-service center in South Los Angeles for young people, to select apprentices for the program, scheduled to begin next month.

Chef Joachim Splichal, who opened Patina restaurant in Walt Disney Hall in downtown L.A., said he was honored to work with Santee and a Place Called Home. Participants -- one or two at a time -- will shadow Patina’s executive chef, Tony Esnault, to learn the workings of the kitchen and basic skills in the contemporary French restaurant, which received four stars from Los Angeles Times reviewer S. Irene Virbila last year.

“Working with Patina restaurant and a Place Called Home elevates the future opportunities of our youth in this community,” said Young Choi, college and career coordinator at Santee. “This is truly an exciting relationship.”

After a three-month apprenticeship, students will prepare a meal at Patina and will have the chance to interview for a job with Patina Restaurant Group, which includes about 60 restaurants and other outlets.

-- Mary MacVean

Photo: Joachim Splichal. Credit: Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times