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Ribbon-cutting for Yellow Jacket Bistro at Athens Community Career Academy

The Clarke County School District and Athens Community Career Academy are pleased to announce the opening of the Yellow Jacket Bistro inside the ACCA building on Dearing Street.

Named for the mascot of the former Athens High and Industrial School, Georgia’s first public four-year high school for African-American students, the bistro is a student-led enterprise and features meals prepared and served to the public by ACCA culinary students under the direction of instructor Chef Amee Williams.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony for the 30-seat bistro and accompanying state-of-the-art culinary lab and kitchen was held Jan. 19 by the Athens Area Chamber of Commerce, followed by a grand-opening with ACCA and CCSD representatives, Board of Education members, other local elected officials, and community members in attendance. The bistro will be open to the public on a limited basis during the spring 2024 semester for catering, business/community group lunch meetings, and occasional special events. ACCA plans to expand to a more formal operating schedule later this year following the start of the 2024-25 school year.

ACCA’s Culinary Arts pathway is in its 10th year, initially beginning as a dual enrollment program led by Athens Technical College. A high school-level program began in 2016 with a farm-to-table, project-based learning approach, providing students with opportunities to utilize their learning in real-world applications and earn industry-recognized certifications. Community and culinary industry partnerships have been a cornerstone of the program — whether it is produce sourced from partnering organizations such as UGArden, Athens Land Trust, and local farms, collaborating with other organizations to provide meals to the community, or work-based learning internships with Athens-area restaurants. Several graduates of program have gone on to attend culinary school, and another is a current CCSD family and consumer sciences instructor. The program also provided hundreds of meals to Athens-area families and healthcare workers during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Because Culinary Arts was not one of ACCA’s original pathways, a full culinary instruction lab was not part of the building space when it opened to students in the 2010-11 school year. The program initially shared a kitchen space with the CCSD School Nutrition Department and gradually added equipment over the last decade through donations from CCSD School Nutrition and local industry partners.

The new learning lab, catering kitchen, and bistro dining area is the result of Clarke County voter-approved E-SPLOST dollars, along with generous donations of $100,000 from Pilgrim’s of Athens and $50,000 from Georgia Power.

Led by Grahl Construction, the $2 million space renovation project began last summer and was completed in early fall 2023.

This spring semester, the bistro will be open to the public for catering, business or group lunches/brunches in the dining area on Fridays, and special events which will be announced through a digital newsletter that will be distributed to community members who sign up to receive updates. Any businesses or organizations that are interested in booking a group lunch/brunch or ordering catering services from the bistro as well as any community members who want to receive news updates and information about planned special events should go to bit.ly/yjnewsletter and complete the form.

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1 comentário


shirebourne
shirebourne
24 de jan.

Wonderful idea. Congratulations to all involved and Good Luck to the new venue

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