Before they get back to school this coming September, the rising seniors at Hell’s Kitchen’s Food & Finance High School will be getting some real-world experience in Williamsburg as they take over at Caffé Lilia for the morning on August 27. Chef Missy Robbins and business partner Sean Feeney had invited the teenagers who are studying to become the next generation of restaurant talent to take part in a summer training program at the café. Over the course of the training, the students learned from restaurant industry stars over several class sessions, covering all aspects of the business, from setting a mission, developing ideas for baked goods, and understanding the math behind food costing, PR and promotion.
From the 7 a.m. opening of the café until noon, the students will run the show, serving the pastries they developed and will be baking fresh. The public is welcome to come in and support their mission. All proceeds will benefit “School Grounds Cafe,” the Food Education Fund nonprofit’s very own on-site, student-run coffee shop on campus at West 50th Street. This nonprofit helps the school provide training, field trips, guest chef visits and scholarships. Food & Finance High School is the only secondary school in the city providing training in the culinary arts, giving students not just truly useful skills that can be used right after graduation but a creative outlet, as well as access to some of the best, most respected chefs in the business—like Missy Robbins herself.