Alex Garcia, for the past two years a culinary student at Sno-Isle Tech Skills Center, is graduating from the Edmonds Heights K-12 parent-school partnership. He’s “a perfectionist.” (Dan Bates / The Herald)

Alex Garcia, for the past two years a culinary student at Sno-Isle Tech Skills Center, is graduating from the Edmonds Heights K-12 parent-school partnership. He’s “a perfectionist.” (Dan Bates / The Herald)

Exceptional grad: Alex Garcia cooks things up

He hopes to land an apprenticeship or internship in the culinary field, or work in catering.

This is one of a series of profiles of exceptional high school graduates from Snohomish County. They are among the thousands of students graduating this spring, each with their own story of academic achievement, creativity, leadership and determination.

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; jmuhlstein@heraldnet.com.

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