Growing Local Chefs

The Arizona Careers in Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP) prepares high school students across the state for jobs in the culinary sector.  In addition to their classes, each year in February and March, the students compete for college scholarships to professional cooking schools.  The competition is fierce—only 30 to 40 students out of the thousands of C-CAP participants in Arizona win one of the prizes. In 2009, C-CAP awarded $487,000 in scholarships.

To kick off this year’s competition and to help provide funding for the scholarships, Edible Phoenix has teamed with C-CAP to screen the riveting and entertaining film, “Pressure Cooker” as part of the Edible Film Festival on Thursday, January 14. The film follows students in Pennsylvania’s C-CAP program as they prepare for and enter the annual competition.

Everyone has a strict teacher from high school who they loved to hate. For the students in Pressure Cooker, it is Mrs. Stephenson.  The filmmakers follow Mrs. Stephenson as she primes the thirteen students in her kitchen classroom to compete in the annual culinary arts contest for college scholarships. Stephenson’s demanding, outspoken, quirky and dedicated. She cares. She yells. She won’t accept work or attitude that’s ‘too ghetto.’ And, in a school that suffers from a 40 percent drop out rate, she’s stirring her students to succeed. They’re hungry for a better life, and she nourishes them. 

Showings are at the Madcap Theaters in Tempe on Thursday, January 14. Arizona C-CAP students from will provide snacks for the 8 p.m. showing, so come early to sample their creations.

Students and teachers (with valid ID) may attend the special 6 p.m. showing at a discounted rate by entering the discount code “STUDENT“.  (Group purchases are available by calling 602-361-7363.)

For tickets:

For info on the Madcap Theater:

For C-CAP, see

The Edible Film Festival screens food films the second Thursday of each month to benefit a local food organization.  See

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