F O R I M M E D I A T E R E L E A S E
CASA PACIFICA CENTERS FOR CHILDREN AND FAMILIES
A California Non-profit 501(C)(3)
Contact: Carrie Hughes
For: Assignment Editor
Camarillo, CA – For the past two months, the youth of Casa Pacifica have been taking an Italian themed cooking class taught by Casa Pacifica Board President William Powell – affectionately known by the kids as “Chef Willy.” This weekly cooking class is part of Casa Pacifica’s Vocational Education Program, which includes the use of the brand-new Bauer Teaching Kitchen. The Program’s goal is to teach youth practical life skills for success in the future. The “final exam” of the class is to cook a gourmet four-course meal – this special meal was auctioned off at Casa Pacifica’s 6th Annual Yummie Top Chef Dinner on Friday, May 31st. The luncheon will be hosted at Casa Pacifica’s Camarillo campus on Wednesday, July 10th at noon. Media is welcome to attend.
The lucky recipient of this gourmet Italian feast is Sean Leonard (and 11 guests), the generous bidder and winner of this “Top Chef Jr.” luncheon. Leonard is President and CEO of S.L. Leonard & Associates, Inc., an Owner’s Representation, Project and Construction Management firm in Camarillo. Leonard and his company recently assisted Casa Pacifica in the management of the construction of their new Training Institute and Archie & Wells Fargo Co-Occurring Cottage on the Camarillo campus.
The menu for the luncheon includes bruschetta, breaded swordfish medallions, duck with fig sauce and mushroom risotto, and homemade biscotti and ice cream. Powell’s interest in the culinary arts started at an early age after learning basic homestyle cooking techniques from his mother. After retiring in 2006, he decided he wanted to improve his skills to the level of advanced amateur. He attended the Enthusiast’s Program at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York. “My experience with the youth at Casa Pacifica was great fun!” said Powell of his recent cooking venture. “Having been (and being currently) a parent of a teenager, one of my mantras for the youth is to press themselves to move outside their small personal orb and experience more of the world whenever they can…they don’t know what they don’t know…and the world (and the foods people eat) is a spectacular place.”
Casa Pacifica Centers for Children and Families is a crisis-care and residential treatment facility for foster or at-risk children in Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties. The agency is the largest non-profit provider of children’s mental health services in both counties and administers a number of community-based programs designed to strengthen families and keep children in their homes and communities. Casa Pacifica is also a foster family agency, which recruits and trains families for potential placement with a foster youth. For more information about Casa Pacifica visit its website www.casapacifica.org or call the Development & Public Relations Department at (805) 445-7800.