Mt. Diablo Goes to Mt. Diablo!

This past weekend the 11th grades students from the Sustainable HospThank You Note Picture Feild Studies 11th Grade Sustainable Hospitalityitality Pathway took their annual overnight field trip! This is a time for them to see what sustainable hospitality looks like in the real world. And of course, they get to camp up on Mt. Diablo!

Here are some of the highlights of their trip!

Concord Hilton

“I liked going around and lohilton pillow makingoking at the rooms and seeing behind the scenes at the restaurant, learning how they use a giant compost machine!”-Nancy Alvarez

“I liked how nice our tour guides were.  The pillow making machine was amazing!”-Jaci Tolen

I really enjoyed seeing the executive suite and liked how they decorated the room and the all of the towels.”

“I would love to have a job at the Hilton it’s a nice working environment”-Juan

Diablo Rock Climbing GymDiablo Rock Gym

“Diablo Rock Gym a lot of fun! The tour guide was really informative!”- Eshontee Andy

“I liked how different age groups, from 4 years old to seniors, could enjoy themselves! I want to get a membership to rock climb for fun!”-Maria Lira

“One of my favorite parts was when we left there was a big bowl of candy”

“I want to come back and actually rock climb!”-Gio

Diablo Valley College

“I liked the student ambassador, it made me want to attend DVC.”-Jesse Ignacio

“They had a lot of different classes that I am interested in taking.”-Maria Aguirre

“The sandwiches were really good. DVC seems like a great place to start”-Daniel and Metzli

Tom Powers FarmAlhambra Valley Farm

“It was really fun and exciting! It was a nice break from the bus ride all day.”-Amy Corona

“I liked how we learned about olives.”-Denique Escobedo

“I was disappointed that we didn’t get to try the grape juice, but I got to pet goats which was pretty great!”-Metzli

“The animals were cool”. -Clarrissa

Mt. Diablo State Park Group Camp-BBQ Terrace

camping on mt. diablo“It was an unforgettable time. Everyone was bonding. A once in a lifetime experience. It felt really good.”-Cristian Torres

“I loved going on the hike to Rock City! I couldn’t believe I could make it to the top of the big rock! The food was fantastic, thank you Chef Cindy! Playing Mofia was a great bonding time!”-Laina Auaumamana

“I liked the view from the group camp!”-Shelby

“Don’t sneak food into your tent!!”-anonymous

“Rock city was amazing”-Celeste

“I liked when it was dark at the camp-site and going on night hikes”-Simone

Sunrise Bistro

“It was bomb. 5 stars”-whole class

“I like how all the employees get along with chef cindy and each other. They seem happy to work there.”-Jeffry

“The red velvet cake was amazing!”-Stephanie

Thank you to the Concord Hilton, Diablo Rock Gym (Touchstone Climbing), Diablo Valley College Student Services, Tom Powers at Alhambra Valley Ranch, the Mt. Diablo Interpretive Association, the Sierra Club, and Bay Area Wilderness Training for making this trip possible! And a special thanks to Cindy and her staff at the Sunrise Bistro for the wonderful food!

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Summer Internship Program

This summer I had the pleasure of supervising our garden and cooking internship program. We had a total of 5 paid student interns, thanks to Oscar Blackwell from the Contra Costa County Office of Education’s Youth Development Services (funded by the Workforce Development Board).

Audrey and Anthony

Cooking lesson for Monument Crisis Center Youth Summer Camp

Audrey Cooking

Audrey was an excellent Chef! Look at her watermelon chopping skills!

Patrick Oliver, environmental science and sustainable tourism teacher (Sustainable Hospitality Pathway) lead the garden program along with his garden assistant Peter Nobles. This summer’s garden crop includes: tomatoes, peppers (from bell to spicy hot!), squash (ready for fall), sunflowers, peaches, roses, basil, kale and more!

garden summer 2013

Patrick Oliver, managing the summer garden plot

Patrick Oliver and Chef Cindy giving a tour of the summer garden

Back in the kitchen, we kept our interns busy with the following events and activities:

  • Contra Costa Mayors Healthy Cookoff Challenge in Todos Santos Plaza and the first Annual Alameda County Mayors Healthy Cookoff in Dublin.
  • Monument Crisis Center Youth Summer Camp Cooking Classes (ages 6-12)
  • Kaiser Permanente “Dinner with the Doc” program
  • Cooking Matters Promotores Graduation Dinner
  • Recipe Testing for the Fat Chance Cookbook (coming out in December!!)

Enjoying dinner at the Kaiser “Dinner with the Doc” cooking class


Ingredients for Kaiser cooking class!






What a fantastic group of interns: Anthony, Audrey, Jessica, Monee, and Jennifer!

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Kaiser Permanente Night !

    July 11, 2013

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Chef Cindy held a special event for cooking lessons to Kaiser Permanente and there were about 30 doctors who showed up and learned how to make healthy meals. We made Stuffed Bell Peppers, Kale Chips, Creamy Polenta with Corn, Watermelon and Feta salad with Basil on top, Museli and Tutti Frutti to go for doctors to take home for tomorrow’s breakfast.

The class started around 5:30pm and our Chef’s taught the doctors how to cut properly and what to do and what not to do. Most of the Chef’s were nervous at first, but we learned how to become more social and that we’re actually doing something good for the community and we should try to spread the recipes and teach others how to cook as well.

Chef Cindy wants to show how easy it is to make a meal for a family and how much enjoyment there would be to cook with them, instead of eating at a fast food restaurant that may not include the six essential nutrients, such as; Carbohydrates, Protein, Fat, Vitamins, Minerals, and Water.

Chef Cindy’s Chefs wants to thank everyone from Kaiser Permanente for being a wonderful audience and supporting our Health Program. We’ll be looking forward to seeing you all in the future !

    -Change the Food, Change Everything
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Summer Cooking Club

    July 1, 2013

Today, some students from Chef Cindy’s class came to school to help out testing food for our new recipe book. We also had students who never took this class and learned what was a healthy meal.

Over here, Chef Cindy went grocery shopping with one of her students, Brenda Santiago, Senior, class of 2014. All these ingredients that they got, will be used to our project on testing our recipes, making edits and posting it onto our recipe book.

Vegetables, fruits, dairy, meat and grains.

Mexican chicken which includes, chicken, onions, bell peppers, cayenne pepper, salt and black pepper. Also was served with brown rice, veggies and fruits.

Marina sauce on top and Italian meatballs which will be added onto spaghetti noodles.

Students that came in to cooking club with Chef Cindy, also the people one white jackets also work at the Garden with Mr. Oliver.

Mr. Oliver ready to enjoy his meal made from his favorite students. (:

Students and adults getting their food.

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Last day Serving!

Today is our last day serving our teachers this year. We are currently making Chile Colorado, which is a Mexican soup that is served with carrots, onions, beef, tomato sauce and garlic. Chile Colorado We are also serving brown rice with beans and tofu Black Beans & Brown Rice

Tofu being saulted

We are also doing a challenge that Chef Cindy wanted us to do,it is called the Suger Challenge.Sugar Challenege
The rules are:
Must commit that you are willing to eat no foods or drinks that contains sugar for seven (7) days. (Fruits and milk are allowed) No package/ drink or fast food, check the ingredients and if the word has an -ose in the end, it is sugar.

Everyone in the class is doing this challenge and so far, they are all surviving this challenge, even though some of us are tempted to eat candy or chips.

ALL of US, changed our diets from fast foods to healthy foods. Most of us cook at home and we are comfortable cooking and are well-trained at cutting. And we also changed from what we used to not like, but now, we like what we used to not like. We are also looking forward to coming to help Chef Cindy to teach the community to learn what is a healthy community. And also fund raise our senior trip to New York, and do a collaboration with another school and learn from what we know and what we don’t know.

In this last part of the post, All of Chef Cindy’s students want to thank Chef Cindy, Patrick Oliver, Chef Zee, and Heather for being the best people from this school year. We are all looking forward to taking Entrepreneurship and Sustainability with both Mr. Oliver and Chef Cindy.

– Change the Food, Change Everything Chefs, class of 2014.
Chefs with new chef coats

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Academy Awards


On May 17th, a couple of us got the chance to serve at the MDEA teachers Academy Awards. It was a great learning experience for all of us who went. We got to see another side of what our academy is based on, hospitality.


Throughout the night we learned proper serving etiquette and received many compliments from guests. At the end of the night tip jars were set out to raise money for a trip we’re planning to New York!! As our senior trip, Chef Cindy wants us to have an amazing/realistic experience, meaning that her goal is for us to meet new people and get a feel of different experiences. Being in this class has opened up so many doors for us and we have met many influential people. At the event we had the honor of being mentioned by Tom Tolakson, State Superintendent of Public Instruction for the State of California, Guy Moore, President of MDEA, and Kish Rajan, Director of the Governors Office of Business and Economic Development.


We hope to be there next year as servers and speakers! (Not servants -Eddie Ruiz)

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May 16, 2013

Today, we got our chef coats thanks to our best teacher that we’ve ever had. We all earned these coats by helping out Chef Cindy on teaching others around the community how to eat healthier, the nutrients we all need and how to work together as a group.

We are having our Grand Opening at Mount Diablo High School located at 2500 Grant street, Concord, CA 94520
We will be opening 4:30 – 6:30 so please come by and taste our delicious dishes from our students !

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