EVERETT — Alex Garcia likes making soup. He has a favorite, a recipe for black bean and white bean “veloute” — French for velvety.
Starting with dried beans, he makes two soups, then pours them together. The Everett teen hopes to turn cooking into a fulfilling career.
“I don’t know of any chef who doesn’t want to be well known,” he said.
For the past two years, Garcia, 17, has been part of Sno-Isle Tech Skills Center’s Culinary Arts program. Until coming to Sno-Isle, he had spent his entire academic life with Edmonds Heights K-12. A home-schooling partnership with the Edmonds School District, the program helps parents — their children’s main teachers — with support and resources.
At his graduation Friday, Garcia received his diploma from Edmonds Heights K-12, which offers some classes and has a library and computer labs.
“Alex is a good guy. I can give him any type of task,” said Chef John Pence, Sno-Isle’s culinary arts instructor.
Jennifer Knudson, Sno-Isle’s restaurant manager, agrees. “He is a perfectionist, and it shows in everything he does,” she said.
On a recent morning, Sno-Isle’s kitchen was a whirlwind of food prep as students prepared Le Bistro Restaurant’s lunch menu — pork cutlets, cabbage slaw and roasted potatoes. The fine dining spot on the Sno-Isle campus is open to the public for lunches a couple of days a week. Along with a chef’s daily entree, Le Bistro serves burgers, sandwiches and soups.
Tacked to one wall in the Sno-Isle kitchen was an honor roll list — with Garcia’s name on it.
After graduation, he hopes to land an apprenticeship or internship in the culinary field, or work in catering. “I have gotten a few offers,” he said.
The son of Joy and Edgar Garcia, he is part of a Jehovah’s Witnesses church in Everett. “We teach lots of people about the Bible,” Garcia said of the door-to-door ministry he does with his family.
“This young man, he is always doing other people’s jobs along with his,” said Knudson.
“This is our pantry,” she said, pointing to a wall of precisely stacked and stored pans and cooking gadgets. “This is Alex.”
Julie Muhlstein: 425-339-3460; firstname.lastname@example.org.