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Rachael Ray Shines on Frankford

Breaking news from the Inquirer:

Frankford High School got a surprise this morning when celebrity chef Rachael Ray announced an extreme make-over of the school’s culinary classroom to honor teacher Wilma Stephenson, whose take-no-prisoners style was the focus of the 2009 documentary, Pressure Cooker.

Ray announced the surprise renovation via video and the work is  to be completed by the time students return from spring break Monday. The Rachael Ray Show, which airs locally at 10 a.m. on 6-ABC, is providing state-of-the-art equipment and school district staff will work around the clock to get the job done.

Congratulations to Wilma Stephenson on a job well done.  Read the rest of the story here.

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TV Alert Sunday Morning

CBS show Sunday morning this week will feature Frankford High School’s Wilma Stevenson.  9:00 tomorrow.

There’s something cooking in the culinary arts program at Frankford High School in Philadelphia, and it’s not just the omelets and cakes. Teacher Wilma Stephenson is giving new futures to the inner-city students who come to her classes.

As seen in the documentary “Pressure Cooker,” Stephenson sees that her students know not only their way around the kitchen – she also prepares them for life after high school. They routinely earn tens of thousand of dollars in a city-wide scholarship program.

Correspondent Jim Axelrod spent a day in Stephenson’s classroom, finding that she doesn’t pull her punches as she pushes her students to be their best. And we catch up with one of her former students, who is now working in an upscale Manhattan restaurant.

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Pressure Cooker

Opening this weekend at the Ritz at the Bourse is “Pressure Cooker” a documentary filmed at Frankford High School.  City Paper has a good review today.  Also if you attend this weekend you can meet the film makers and subjects of the film.

Pressure Cooker

There has been a lot of comment on the Wilma Stephenson manner in working with the kids in the film. I met her at Frankford a few months ago. The Frankford Business and Professional Association had a meeting at Frankford and had lunch prepared and served by the students of the Culinary Academy. Mrs Stevenson was no more demanding than my first sergeant in the air Force. She has standards and the students have to meet them. That is what we should expect from a good teacher.