For Immediate release
Maryville, TN (April 10, 2017)) – Maryville City Schools is pleased to announce the grand opening of the newly renovated culinary arts building at 600 West Broadway, on the Maryville High School campus. This new home for Café Le Rêve and the MHS Culinary Program was made possible in part through a partnership and professional consultation from Blackberry Farm and the Blackberry Farm Foundation. The ribbon-cutting on this new facility will be at 9:00 a.m., Wednesday, April 26.
Dating back to at least the 1950’s, this 4500 sq. ft. facility has been completely overhauled by Merit Construction, including a sprinkler system, new roof, windows, floors, and doors. Gone are any signs of the gas station or auto service center – replaced with state of the art restaurant equipment, café space, and culinary classroom. The space will also be used as a meeting space for the school and school district.
The culinary arts building, located on the northeast corner of the MHS campus, will be home to a dynamic and growing culinary arts program of study. Now in the second year, 250 are currently enrolled in culinary classes offered in grade 9 at Maryville Jr. High and grades 10 through 12 at MHS. The overall program is designed to prepare students for careers in the culinary field – including cooking principles; food prep; interpersonal skills; and more. As students move into the new facility for classes next school year, the program will be expanded to include a third course of study, giving more students the marketable skills needed to find employment or pursue more advanced coursework. Teacher Susan Headrick said, “MHS looks forward to opening up our doors to the community and welcomes everyone to the ribbon cutting ceremony.”
Café Le Rêve has been open to the public since 2001, serving lunch on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from a trailer just down the hill from the new facility. Rather than working from separate spaces, the culinary program and café have separate kitchens, but will share storage space and refrigeration spaces needed by both programs. Students in the café learn from experience as servers, but also gain valuable work and life skills in purchasing, food preparation, menu planning, marketing, money management, and more. Sandra Elder and her staff operate the café and have managed the hospitality program of study for MHS students since the café opened.
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Blackberry Farm in partnership with the East Tennessee Foundation created the Blackberry Farm Foundation in 2012 in order to give to local children and foodways-related charities and has given more than half a million dollars to charities since its inception. Blackberry Farm is honored to raise funds for recipient charities as part of its annual music concert series and cooking schools through silent auctions. For more information, please visit www.blackberryfarm.com/foundation/
· Issued by MCS District Communications Office: Sharon Anglim, APR @ 865-982-7121
MCS Director of Schools - Dr. Mike Winstead 865-982-7121
Sandra Elder, Café Le Reve 865-982-1132
Susan Headrick, CTE, Culinary Arts 865-982-1132
· Sarah Chabot, Blackberry Farm firstname.lastname@example.org