Project EAT High Schools Provide Produce for Local Farm-to-Fork Pop-Up Dinner

Project EAT has been producing food on two high school campuses for many years, but this year marks another milestone as it was the first time that our produce was featured in a restaurant.  The Cannery Café, located inside the Hayward Historical Society Building, will be purchasing food from Project EAT’s school gardens and highlighting the school gardens on their menu.

On October 23rd, the Cannery Café hosted a Pop-Up dinner with produce specifically harvested from Tennyson High School and San Lorenzo High School.  Two Project EAT student interns, Henry and Jairo, attended the dinner, mingled with guests, and were recognized by Chef Jeff Rosen and farm supervisor Melissa Morris just before dessert was served.

The menu was amazing!  The theme of the night was “Dia de los Muertos” and all food was served family style to the tables.  This allowed everyone to get to know each other a little more as the plates were passed.  The meal started off with tamales de camote con mole negro, paired with a sweet and spicy chili sauce made with peppers from Tennyson High School Community Garden. 

Next, a huge kale salad arrived, made from even larger leaves of kale from San Lorenzo High School’s educational garden. 

The next course was well received, as it was a different take on the usual dish.  “Jeff da Chef” prepared Chile Rellenos al Muertos, and instead of being battered and fried, they were baked and topped with a cream sauce and sprinkled with pomegranate seeds. 

After, the main portion of the meal arrived: elote corn casserole, barbecoa of beef with guacamole, and “Morros y Cristianos,” otherwise knows as black beans and cilantro rice.  The meal ended on a sweet note with fresh churros with Mexican hot chocolate sauce.  There was so much food that there was even enough to bring home to enjoy later. 

Additionally, Chef Jeff and the owners of the Cannery Café have offered an internship position to a Project EAT student intern alum, Henry Chi.  This event was the first time he ever worked in a restaurant but the Cannery Café team worked with him and he was out there serving tables in no time. 

Through hard work and dedication, Henry has proven himself to be a valuable worker in various internships throughout the last 3 years of working with Project EAT. In order to continue supporting Henry’s food pathways education, Chef Jeff has offered Henry a 3 month paid internship at The Cannery Café. As we continue to strengthen this partnership between ACOE’s Project EAT and The Cannery Café, we look forward to supplying well-trained food systems interns from the high schools into local businesses.

Thank you to Melinda Hall with Hayward Promise Neighborhood for encouraging this budding partnership and for all of you who support innovative college and career pathways for our incredible youth.

Don’t forget to eat at The Cannery Café and look for Project EAT on the menu in the coming months!  The Cannery Café hosts monthly pop-up dinners which are guaranteed to sell-out!  If you would like to find out when the next dinner will be, check out their Facebook page.