By Christine Fonville
A café in Stone Mountain is giving deaf students a place to gain experience and get creative in the culinary arts through an innovative work-study program.
Since beginning the program a few months ago, the students have experienced all aspects of being in a restaurant kitchen, including prepping, baking, grilling and setting up the line for the day said Stone Mountain Village Association President Susan Leisure.
“Since Sweet Potato Cafe is a farm-to-table restaurant, the students have gained more experience in cooking with fresh ingredients and preparing new and unfamiliar foods,” Leisure said.
The idea for the partnership with the school and the café started after some teachers from the school dropped by for lunch.
“I went out to the dining area to speak to customers and struck up a conversation with one of teachers from the school,” said owner and chef Karen Patton. “I told them my goal was to partner with a local school to teach students more about healthy eating and getting involved in gardening and they asked if I’d be interested in working with deaf students.”
For more information, visit www.thesweetpotatocafe.net and www.aasdweb.com.