Master Chef prepares meal -- and students -- to meet life’s challenges
Students at the Arlington Regional Learning Center in Riverside Friday (August 31, 2012) nibbled Pork Belly Bahn Mi Tacos and sipped cool cucumber water while listening to speaker Stacey Amagrande, who appeared on the hit TV show “Master Chef.”
“When I received my chef coat, what it meant to me was that nothing is impossible,” said Amagrande, who recounted for students how she turned her life around after years of problems with alcohol and drugs while preparing whipped cream for her Italian Trifle Bites.
Cooking, she said, was a big part of her family. “I am half Greek and half Italian, so what my family did was cook and eat,” she said. And it was a big part of her recovery from her addictions.
As a fan of Chef Gordon Ramsey, she put together an audition video for “Master Chef.” She won a spot as a contestant.
Principal Joelle Hood said she has several presentations planned by people who have overcome obstacles, turned their lives around and are now successful in their careers. Many of the students at the school have been expelled from other high schools for a variety of reasons and are working to get back on track.
“I feel it is important for students to be exposed to people who don’t make excuses for their mistakes, who work hard and make it,” she said. “I know Stacey. She wants to pay it forward.”
Students had questions about her problems, but also about being on TV.
The judges on “Master Chef” look tough, she said. “But at the end of the day, they clock out and go home. It’s their job…The show is a little like life, they throw you challenges that you have to overcome. That’s how you are successful.”
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Rick Peoples, Public Information Officer
Telephone: (951) 826-6642
Fax: (951) 826-6199