Patina Restaurant, the award-winning Relais & Chateaux restaurant that represents the highest culinary contemporary French cuisine, announced today a partnership with A Place Called Home (APCH), a safe haven for underserved youth.  Along with Santee Education Complex High School, a supportive and caring academic institution, the new program called Chef’s Apprentice at Patina Restaurant, will begin in April 2011.

'Chef's Apprentice at Patina Restaurant' Gives Underserved LA Youth Real Life SkillsChef’s Apprentice at Patina Restaurant will engage teens passionate about culinary arts and provide APCH members and Santee students the opportunity to learn the art of cooking and gain invaluable life skills and confidence in a fast-paced restaurant kitchen setting.

“We are honored to partner with such important institutions such as A Place Called Home and Santee Education Complex, in developing this unique apprenticeship,” said Joachim Splichal, master chef and founder, Patina Restaurant.  “Patina Restaurant looks forward to helping students pursue their culinary dreams and provide opportunities they might not have had available to them.”

Participants in the program will shadow Patina Restaurant’s award winning Executive Chef Tony Esnault, recipient of the highly coveted four-star Los Angeles Times review.  He will lead the apprenticeship and introduce his ‘apprentices’ to everything from general kitchen orientation and basic cooking skills to the art of French cooking and overall menu preparation.

Apprentices will begin their tenure at Patina Restaurant following a 30-day APCH kitchen internship and job readiness-training program.

“Working with Patina Restaurant and A Place Called Home elevates the future opportunities of our youth in this community, which can ultimately improve the community’s future. This is truly an exciting relationship,” said Young Choi, college and career coordinator, Santee Education Complex. Tarabu Betserai Kirkland, director of programs, A Place Called Home remarked, “We are confident each apprentice will not only acquire invaluable skills in the kitchen with Chef Esnault, but also take what they learn and apply it to many other aspects in their lives.”

At the end of the three-month apprenticeship, students will participate in a one night celebratory event at Patina Restaurant to demonstrate their newly gained knowledge and prepare a multi-course fine dining meal for guests within the APCH organization.  Additionally, Patina Restaurant will provide the apprentice with the chance to interview for a position within the Patina Restaurant Group, a bi-coastal company with approximately 60 restaurants and food service operations.

For more information on Patina Restaurant, please visit or A Place Called Home,