By Hillary Cummings, Journalism II Adviser
Smyrna High School’s Culinary Program, along with Chef Albert Villalobos, are connecting with downtown Smyrna’s Carpe Cafe to host a Valentine’s Day Weekend dinner. Proceeds from the event sponsor funding for two state-based competitions, which cost approximately 5,000.
We asked Villalobos to explain Smyrna High’s five-year history in state-based Culinary and Restaurant Management competitions. Villalobos explains, “students who compete have the ability to earn college scholarships if they place in the top three. In those five years, my students have earned around $150,000 in scholarships.” All of the funding to attend these worthwhile and meaningful competitions are raised through fundraising efforts like the Carpe Cafe Takeover.
When choosing a partner for the fundraising effort, Carpe Cafe is a natural fit. Villalobos discusses Carpe Cafe’s involvement in the community and beyond, “Carpe encompasses multiple things such as Carpe Artista, Carpe Cafe and Carpe 101.” All are non-profit organizations with a community focus and arts-related community outreach. Smyrna high has partnered with Carpe for the past five years, sending volunteers to work for the cafe and other events. These experiences offer students worthwhile, real-world work experience. Last year, the cafe allowed the school to take over their cafe to provide a fine dining dinner experience.