In-School Curriculum


Our in-school Culinary Arts program explores classical and contemporary culinary techniques, as well as develops critical thinking skills within an integrated front-of-the-house curriculum. Through gardening, to cooking, to and serving at our Oasis Cafe, our students obtain life and professional skills are with a core focus on the importance of a healthy lifestyle, wellness, and nutrition.

C.A.K.E. has partnered with the California Restaurant Association Education Foundation (CRAEF) as a participant in its Pro-Start program and designed its curriculum based on their teachings combined with those of the Culinary Institute of America.

Students receive hands-on education in food production and proficiency in cooking, cost control, nutrition and sanitation. Studies include advanced techniques in classical/regional cuisines, garde manger, patisserie/dessert and a variety of international dining room training and services.

The CAKE program also provides students with the opportunities to test their skills through national competitions. Students’ receive mentorship from seasoned professionals in the fields of culinary arts, hospitality, nutrition, health advocacy, and video and film production.

Program graduates will be positioned with the knowledge, skills, and connections to pursue careers in some of the world’s best full-service restaurants, hotels, and catering operations.


After School Program


The 12-week after school program is offered three days a week (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday) on the campus of Santee Education Complex. Every Wednesday, parents, families and students come together to create a healthy dinner. The program combines the culinary arts, athletics, social entrepreneurship, health and wellness and life skills to empower students to be ambassadors of health to their peers, family and community.

Students will also participate in supplemental health instruction in the areas of: time management, stress reduction, journaling, and activities that are fun and physical. A typical day is divided between the culinary arts, physical education, nutrition, and wellness. While the program is focused on the children, each Wednesday parents and community members are invited to develop healthy, easy, and affordable recipes that can be created at home in 20 minutes or less.

Over the course of the program, students will learn about horticulture and farming, how to grow , market, and sell their fresh produce,  and will develop culinary skills, and use garden produce to create a healthy food product. Our projects include developing a business plan for healthy food products, creating a culinary cooking video targeting youth, and writing a cook book, leave students prepared to enter the work force with a skill and knowledge base that allows them to become health advocates and mentors to other youth. 


Summer Program

Our after school curriculum continues with a summer program that continues to teach students. Our 6-week, intensive summer program partners with with a nationally recognized health organization to employ, train and help participants develop gardening, entrepreneurial, and healthy life skills.