NYC students cooking up success at Food and Finance High School

HELL'S KITCHEN, Manhattan (WABC) -- Sunnyside up or over easy? That's the first assignment of the day for the budding young chefs at Food and Finance High, New York City's only culinary-focused public high school.

Heading up this particular class is 20-year veteran chef Geoffrey Tulloch, who calls teaching these students the most gratifying and fulfilling thing he's ever done.

"We're preparing our students not just to go into the food industry, but we're preparing them to do things in life," Tulloch said.

Students at FFHS take an hour and a half culinary class everyday on top of a full load of academic courses.

But most like Junior Tarek Rogers, who wants to own his own restaurant one day, consider themselves lucky to be here.

"The school provides us with many different opportunities that like you have not seen in other high schools," Rogers said.

Among the unique opportunities for students here, the School Grounds Café - a first of its kind student-run-business. Open every morning, the café provides more of that hands on learning.

The cafe, job training, internship and visiting chefs programs are just some of the other opportunities made possible by the Food Education Fund, a non-profit that partners with the high school.

"Our mission in the non-profit is experiential learning. All of our programs have to be hands on. They all have to focus on enhancing he students for the future," Kat Taveras of the Food Education Fund said.

Just about everything these students learn to cook here, they'll actually be putting on the table in their own pop-up restaurant, every two weeks, and it's open to the public.

Future food writer Tyuana Bivens, a senior at the high school, says that is what this school is all about and she'll proudly tell anyone who asks.

"I would tell them this is a good opportunity and a good first step and that all of the chefs here will prepare them to be the next big thing, and be their greatest and push them to do their best," Bivens said.

Giovanni Colivita from Colivita food products is a proud supporter of this local problem. Colivita will be marching in the 2019 Columbus Day Parade as an honoree.

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