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Frankford High School Culinary Academy


A few weeks ago the Frankford Business and Professional Association had a meeting at Frankford High and we had lunch courtesy of the Culinary Academy.  I had heard about this part of Frankford before but had not had the up close and personal look see.  The students put on an impressive meal.

This week in the Northeast Times, John Loftus writes about the Academy and the movie that has been making the rounds of the film festivals.  Titled Pressure Cooker, it will open June 12 at the Ritz Bourse theater in Center City.  The film was shot during the 2006-97 school year and was done much like a reality TV show.  It captures the action as the students learn what it takes to work in the restaurant business.

Most impressive was their no nonesense teacher, Wilma Stephenson.

In the movie, Stephenson asks new students if they’ve heard about her. As they raise their hands, she tells them whatever they heard, it’s 500 times worse.

And she get amazing results.   This is a triumph in an urban school.

This year’s graduates have tallied $672,000 in scholarships, Stephenson said. According to the movie’s publicity material, 53 of her students have received more than $3 million in scholarships to attend culinary schools as well as four-year and community colleges.

Watch for the movie when it comes and a DVD is soon to follow.