|Chef Instructor Allison Owens (right) with
members of her cooking crew, Jeffrey, Honkey, and Nga.
This is my day off, but I just came by to visit with my buddies.
Cooking Up a Storm
Allison Owens is the instructor at The Arcs
kitchen and runs the catering service. Before The Arc she worked as a
chef for hotels, restaurants, and commercial catering services.
This is my first job where I wasnt
in a hotel or restaurant or strictly a catering operation, she explains.
Now Im just part of The Arc umbrella. Everyone is here to
train the clients and help them to go out into the work world. It has
been a change for me. I was used to being around cooks, waiters, and bartenders
and here Im training these people. Everyday it is different, but
that is my favorite part. I enjoy all the different personalities and
all the different levels.
Several of the clients who worked with me in the kitchen have gotten
jobs at restaurants and other facilities. We have a café at United
Nations Plaza, and we have three clients over there. They help with bringing
out the dishes and putting things away. Ive taught some of them
how to use a knife and to help with chopping Im careful about
who gets to use a knife, and nobody gets to use the big slicer. If I have
an event, like at Charles Schwab, or catering, Ill take some of
them with me, and they will help me set it up. They are great.
This woman [Nga] is phenomenal with a knife. She doesnt speak
much English, but she can make potato salad and soup on her own.
Jeff worked at a restaurant in Pleasanton. He took the BART over
there by himself for a couple of weeks.
Honkey helps put my food away and organize the storage room. He
can be a little trouble maker at times. He can be a little gossip and
a little flirt, but he is a good hard worker. He is very strong. He brings
the food down to the van and loads it for me when we have a delivery.