Tag Archives: Front Street Kitchen

Live cooking challenge at Santa Cruz museum benefits vibrant high school culinary program

Advanced instructor Andrea Mollenauer and assistant instructor Christopher Stephenson from the ROP program are competing at Fire It Up! on March 1. Photo credit: Karen Lemon (also an ROP instructor--in digital photography)

Advanced instructor Andrea Mollenauer & assistant instructor Christopher Stephenson from the ROP program are competing at Fire It Up! on March 1. Photo credit: Karen Lemon (also an ROP instructor–in digital photography)

Tickets are going fast for “Fire It Up!,” an upcoming Santa Cruz event with a culinary student showcase and a live chef competition, with the fun-sounding evening benefiting Santa Cruz’s vibrant high school culinary ROP (Regional  Occupational Program).

The event is March 1, 2014 at 5pm, at the Santa Cruz MAH (Museum of Art & History). Attendees get to sample 10 student-created signature hors d’oeuvres in the student culinary showcase and are given a “Best of Show” ballot to vote for their favorite. Then they get to see the chef vs. chef entertainment which features Chef Andrea Mollenauer and Chef Christopher Stephenson. There will also be a cheese display and beverage table for guests’ consumption.

Chef Andrea, Advanced Instructor for the ROP Culinary class and the talented woman behind this event, owns and operates Lifestyle Culinary Arts catering and special events company. She also  runs Front Street Kitchen, a community-minded commercial kitchen that houses Lifestyle as well as several delicious, independent food producers including Cardamom Tuesday Silk Road Elixirs. Front Street is the location of the ROP culinary classes too.

Chef Andrea created Fire It Up! for many reasons, including the opportunity to showcase her talented students, spread the word about the ROP program, and create a unique evening for the local community. “It occurred to me that as a caterer and event planner, with the engagement of my community, I could put on a smashing event to benefit the students and the program,” she says. “The intention was to give the students a big opportunity to gain hands-on work experience through the creation of a real work-based event (menu creation and testing, ticket sales and donation requests, event prep and service for 200 people!) — with the added benefit of raising much needed funds for our program.”

Buy your $30 tickets (there won’t be any at the door) or get more information by contacting Chef Andrea ASAP at 831-588-4515 or ropculinarysc@gmail.com.

Event proceeds will go towards classroom materials, food, equipment, and student scholarships for the ROP Culinary Program, which offers career and technical training to Santa Cruz County high school students. Chef Andrea launched this popular program eight years ago to teach students real-world skills in a professional kitchen environment. It provides college-level culinary training for hundreds of Santa Cruz high school students and articulates with Cabrillo College, offering students transferable units. Many students pursue advanced cooking education at Cabrillo College and other schools.

I, for one, am planning to attend! It sounds like a great time, and I want to support this worthy program. I bought cookies from the ROP students at their holiday bake sale in December—the sweets were beautiful and tasty, and I enjoyed meeting a couple of the chefs.

Unfamiliar with ROP? It’s a department of the Santa Cruz County Office of Education and provides students with the opportunity to acquire career training and technical skills that prepare them for success in a changing workplace and continuing education.  Read more here.

Follow me on Twitter @santacruzfoodie.

Fire It Up! location: Santa Cruz MAH, 705 Front St, Santa Cruz

Holiday shopping 2013: Santa Cruz artisan food and gift sale

Cardamom Tuesday Silk Road elixir, available at Sunday's artisan food and gift sale

Cardamom Tuesday Silk Road elixir, available at Sunday’s artisan food and gift sale

Santa Cruz’s Front Street Kitchen is hosting an exciting artisan food and gift sale just in time for your holiday shopping needs. The event is Sunday, Dec. 15 from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Event organizers have announced there will be “all local, handmade, small batch gifts” plus live music, samples from selected vendors, an artisan gift basket raffle, and free admission.

Vendors include Farmer Freed with culinary salt blends; Fish Princess Farm with salsa, preserved lemons, and chutney; and Cardamom Tuesday with artisan elixirs that you can use in coffee, homemade soda, cocktails, and more.

Other products are chocolate truffles, toffee, jams, ice cream club memberships, gluten-free baked goods, food-based beauty and bath products, and several sweets from local high school ROP students.

I can’t wait to do some shopping and support local independent businesses at the same time! Happy holidays.

Follow me on Twitter @santacruzfoodie.

The Details:
11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Sun. Dec. 15, 2013
Front Street Kitchen, 504A Front St., Santa Cruz
(831) 588-4515

12 Days of Christmas Giveaway Day One: Santa Cruz holiday cookies

Front Street Kitchen in Santa Cruz is a co-op kitchen that offers catering, culinary classes, and more

Front Street Kitchen opened in early 2012 in Santa Cruz, and it is the first participant in the Santa Cruz Foodie/Santa Cruz Restaurant Examiner’s “12 Days of Christmas Giveaway.” That’s right: today is Day One of TWELVE DAYS of food-related giveaways! You can win a great prize (limited to one per person for the duration of this promotion). Keep reading for how to enter contest.


Front Street Kitchen is a co-op kitchen that offers catering, culinary classes, and more. There are three talented local caterers involved, including Andrea Mollenauer (you may recall that during the Thanksgiving season, she shared her cranberry chutney recipe).

On Sunday Dec. 16 at 11 a.m. FSK is holding a community workshop entitled Holiday Cookie Baking. The owners emphasize this will be “more like a holiday community gathering” as opposed to a class. Here is the description:

We will be baking, decorating and exchanging some of the season’s favorite recipes; coffee and hot apple cider will be served. Bake in our well-equipped commercial kitchen with friends and family, take home both finished and ready-to-bake holiday treats for your holiday.

To make it even more fun, there are some optional festive activities:
* Recipe Exchange – bring 10 copies of your favorite holiday cookie recipe to share
* ‘Cutest Apron’ contest – winner takes home a prize!
* Special Holiday packaging ideas – available for purchase. Or bring your own packaging to transport your loot and save on paper waste

The cost is $25 per adult, and $10 per child 14 and under with participating adult (maximum 2 kids per adult for reduced rate). To RSVP, so FSK knows how many goodies to prepare, call (831) 588-4515 or email info@frontstreetkitchen.com. The venue is located at 504A Front Street; for more information see FSK’s web site and Facebook page.




One lucky reader will win FREE ADMISSION to Holiday Cookie Baking.

To enter, email your name to tfatemiwalker@yahoo.com and include the words “Holiday Cookie Baking.”

Or post a comment to this article on my Facebook page.

Either way, the entry deadline is Thurs. Dec. 13 at 6 p.m.

The drawing will take place that evening and the winner will be notified via email.

Good luck and happy holidays!