Culinary Program Starts Flatbread Fundraiser


Photo A. Graves

Chef Clarke, the culinary teacher and Ida S. Baker TOY.

Claire Chesney and Frankie Wilson

Students are now able to pre-order customizable flatbread pizzas at lunch, thanks to a new fundraiser at headed by Chef Russell Clarke. They are made fresh daily by students in the culinary program and handed out after school.

“It gives the students the experience of working quick service. My goal is for them to be able to run this like it was their own restaurant,” said Clarke. “This is teaching them systems, how to create processed orders. It just gives them a little taste of what it’s like in industry. It’s a good fundraiser.”

Numbered tickets are sold during lunch for four dollars. Students who buy the flatbreads fill out the ticket with the toppings they want and keep the stub with their name and ticket number. The flatbreads are ready to be picked up after school.

Flatbreads are not distributed at lunch to avoid competition with the school cafeteria.

Culinary students prepare all of the ingredients each day. Everything is fresh, including the dough. Clarke intends to expand the menu to eventually include other items, such as soups and drinks. His goal is to start off small and turn the fundraiser into a sustainable café.

“The cool thing is, some kids go home without something to eat, they don’t know how to cook, so it gives them an opportunity to just have something that they can eat when they get home,” he said. “It’s fresh, it’s affordable. It’s quick, it’s ready, if they have to catch the bus, they can grab it real quick and go.”

The fundraiser is in its early stages, so not many students have tried the flatbreads yet. However, it has already gained popularity with its customers.

“It tasted freakin’ amazing. I got sausage, bacon, ham, pepperoni, garlic, parmesan. I’m probably gonna get two more tomorrow,” Bobbi McDowell (’16). “Pizza is my favorite food.”