Outdoor Culinary Center

St. Paul’s Celebrates the Opening of Our New Outdoor Culinary Center

St. Paul’s was cooking with excitement as we hosted the most delectable Grand Opening and Celebration marking the opening of our new Outdoor Culinary Center.   The celebration included a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony and a taste of the wonderful things to come from the new Center.

Throughout the day, students from all grade levels helped prepare a soup in the Center with the fresh vegetables and herbs from the school’s garden.   Students used a recipe called “Creamy Any Vegetable Soup” from Chef John Besh’s new cookbook, My Family Table: A Passionate Plea for Home Cooking.  Additionally, each grade level beginning with the Little Saints two-year-olds had an academic lesson that incorporated the Outdoor Culinary Center.

Operating from the belief that students thrive when exposed to the great outdoors, the Outdoor Culinary Center is a major component to St. Paul’s Culinary Garden and the school’s commitment to sustainability.  St. Paul’s vision was to design an outdoor setting and program that offers students a stimulating and thought-provoking atmosphere in which to learn academic lessons.  With the variety of fruits, vegetables, and herbs growing in St. Paul’s garden, the Outdoor Culinary Center provides the space and tools necessary to incorporate the garden’s rich harvest into cooking lessons and demonstrations for students and community members to use and enjoy.

Funding for the Outdoor Culinary Center was provided by the incredible generosity of the Louisiana Hospitality Foundation and the St. Paul’s Men’s Club.  The Center includes all the elements of a modern outdoor kitchen, including stainless steel gas grill, burners, warming drawers, refrigerator, and sink.  In addition, the kitchen has a countertop and prep area, storage space, seating, and planter holding fresh herbs.


Click the image to view more pictures from the Outdoor Culinary Center Grand Opening

Let’s Get Cooking!


Outdoor Culinary Center Groundbreaking Ceremony

Thanks to the incredible generosity of the St. Paul’s Men’s Club and the Louisiana Hospitality Foundation combined with the tremendous effort of Jennifer Wood and Rachel Schmidt in the St. Paul’s Business Office, Board of Trustees, Parents Association, Larry Palestina, Doug Cook, Riverside Lumber, TLS Electric, Cultured Concrete by Turner Night, Peter Graffeo, Cypress Creations, LLC, Todd Adams, Johann Palacios, parents, faculty, staff, and many more – the St. Paul’s Outdoor Culinary Center (OCC) is finally complete!

The Foundation originally awarded the school a grant for $10K but surprised us all at the ceremony when the Louisiana Hospitality Foundation President, David Blitch, announced they were so excited about our project they wanted to give us an additional $5K!  Louisiana Hospitality Foundation President, David Blitch said, “We are proud to support St Paul’s and the children who will benefit from such a wonderful facility. The Louisiana Hospitality Foundation believes that by allowing children to participate in the culinary process, from planting the seeds to preparing a meal, they will understand the importance of healthy choices.”

The OCC is a major component to St. Paul’s Culinary Garden and our School’s commitment to sustainability.  We look forward to the incredible opportunities and resources the OCC will provide for our students and the entire Lakeview community and beyond.