Inmates win at the El Dorado County Fair | Food and Drink
PLACERVILLE, CA - In 2007 the El Dorado Sheriff’s Office had an idea. Having a commercial kitchen in each of the two jails, that produced upwards of 2000 meals per day, the jails were already in the commercial food delivery service. “What if,” the Department asked “we taught the inmates to cook?” Not only cook, but cook to commercial standards. And not only cook to commercial standards but with quality. What if indeed?
Across the street from the Sheriff’s Office Tahoe Jail is the Lake Tahoe Community College. The Lake Tahoe Community College had an existing culinary arts program. In short order a collaboration was born and the inmates were learning to cook with quality.Every year the inmates test their quality by entering the El Dorado County Fair in the Baking and Fiery Fair categories. Since 2007 the inmates have amassed over 50 first, second, and third place ribbons. This year was no exception. The inmates in the culinary arts program earned a total of 18 ribbons: 5 First Place, 6 Second Place, and 7 Third Place ribbons. In addition the inmates earned several Fourth Place awards and numerous Honorable Mentions. The inmates develop not only cooking and baking skills but develop pride and life skills as well, which leads to an improved chance of not returning to jail. Many of the inmates quickly find jobs not only in restaurants but also gain employment due to the work ethic and skills learned in the program. Some of the inmate County Fair winners for 2012 were:
- Marcus Tillman, First Place yeast rolls, Second Place Cinnamon Rolls, Third Place Peanut Butter Cookies.
- Jose Avina - First Place Bar Cookies, Third Place White Chocolate Lime Cookies
- Rodney Glover - Second Place Chocolate Chip Cookies and Florentine Cookies, Third Place Cup Cakes
- Heather Halversa - Second Place Snickers, Third Place Lemon Rasp Drops
- Adrianana Garcia - Third Place Macadamia Nut Cookies
- Brandi Day - Third Place Fiery Fair Cookies
- Katy Manoff - Second Place Cranberry Orange Cookies and Oatmeal Cookies
- Symbria Smite - Third Place Sugar Cookies
- Alan Gooley - Second Place Coffee Cake
Content provided by press release from El Dorado County Sheriff's Department