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New Kitchen House Coming to Orlando Junior Academy

posted on June 30, 2015, under Education by

by Ken Langdon, reprinted with permission from Edible Orlando

This artist rendering depicts the 3,000-square-foot Kitchen House and garden planned for Orlando Junior Academy.

This artist rendering depicts the 3,000-square-foot Kitchen House and garden planned for Orlando Junior Academy.

Construction will soon be under way on the new Emeril Lagasse Foundation Kitchen House & Culinary Garden at Orlando Junior Academy (OJA), thanks to generous contributions by the Emeril Lagasse Foundation and Florida Hospital for Children.

Designed in partnership with Midtown Architecture Studio and HuntonBrady Architects, the 3,000-square-foot, environmentally sustainable Kitchen House will be on East King Street, across from the OJA campus.

With a large veranda opening onto a 2,000-square-foot garden, the new facility will include a state-of-the-art teaching kitchen with four cooking stations. The entryway will be a reception area and retail store that will sell products such as jams and pickles made by the students.

The new facility will include a state-of-the-art teaching kitchen with four cooking stations.

The new facility will include a state-of-the-art teaching kitchen with four cooking stations.

Chef Kevin Fonzo of K Restaurant in College Park has been the mainstay behind the project since 2011. He will oversee the Kitchen House & Culinary Garden’s teaching and cooking operations along with Sarah Cahill, a certified raw food chef who has worked with Fonzo on the project since its inception.

Fonzo began his work at OJA seven years ago by providing healthy and delicious school lunches to the school’s 200 or so students, which led to the edible schoolyard and a cooking class. He now teaches a full day of classes once a week, incorporating the school’s curriculum into culinary lessons by teaching elements of math and science through food and cooking. His students are involved in each step of the process, from planting to harvest, and then cooking the foods they grow, including practical hands-on culinary experience.

OJA’s new Kitchen House & Culinary Garden is expected to open Spring 2016.


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