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OC's Class Kitchen Pop-Up Puts High Schoolers In Charge of Your Meal

It's an entirely self-run project by students from the Orange County School of the Arts.

Noah Rosen of Class Kitchen
Noah Rosen of Class Kitchen
Class Kitchen
Farley Elliott is the Senior Editor at Eater LA and the author of Los Angeles Street Food: A History From Tamaleros to Taco Trucks. He covers restaurants in every form, from breaking news to the culture, people, and history that surrounds LA's dining landscape.

There’s a new kind of pop-up heading to Orange County this summer. Called simply Class Kitchen, the five-weekend-long event comes straight out of the Orange County School of the Arts, an alternative arts high school in Santa Ana. Yep, that means your dinner is going to be made and served entirely by kids.

Of course, there’s already at least some precedent for underaged and highly trained chefs in the kitchen — just look at Flynn McGarry, the teen chef phenom whose Eureka pop-up dinners took Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco by storm. These kids, however, will actually be putting the skills they learned in the classroom to the real-life test, working out of a restaurant called Waffleholic in Costa Mesa on the night of the events.

The leading forces behind class kitchen are Austin January and Noah Rosen, two OCSA attendees who are part of the school’s Culinary Arts and Hospitality conservatory. They’ll be leading the way and directing the dinners from the kitchen, serving their own takes on modern American cuisine with a four-course prix fixe menu.

What’s cooler still: kids from other OCSA conservatories are getting in on the action, working as servers or business leads on the project. There will even be live music from the Jazz Studies Program and decor elements from the Visual Arts kids.

The Class Kitchen dinners run from 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday nights only, beginning June 26 and 27, and continuing on the following month (June 10 & 11, 17 & 18, 24 & 25) and once again August 7 & 8. You can reserve tickets here, or if you’re fast you can get a ticket via their Kickstarter campaign, which will earn you extras like aprons and whatnot. The crowdfunded campaign ends in three days though (they’ve already raised nearly ten times their original goal).

Waffleholic Cafe

1661 Superior Ave, Costa Mesa, CA 92627 (949) 391-0003 Visit Website