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BROOKLYN, NY (PIX11) – There’s a new concession stand called School Grounds Café that takes over Barclays Center at every Brooklyn Nets home game, as well as other select arena events. And you might be surprised by the masterminds behind the food stand.
“It’s surreal. It’s like indescribable. Everyone thinks the Barclays are great fun. I’m going to work here. I can tell everyone that,” said Riley Houguin, who is a senior at Food High School. and Financial, New York’s only culinary high school.
The School Grounds Café internship isn’t just a chance for Houguin and other teens to hone their cooking skills in a big arena, it’s also an introduction to the food business.
From pricing each item to sourcing ingredients, there is a lot of preparation and work involved in this hands-on internship.
“There’s so much corporate structure that these students are learning every day at 17 and 18 that you don’t learn until you’re 30,” said Food Education Fund culinary coordinator Gabriella Perez.
Perez was once in place of Houguin; she was part of the cohort that got the cafe off the ground initially.
Each semester, students from the School Grounds Café travel back and forth to the Barclays Center. Their game-day preparation begins nearly six hours before the Nets’ denunciation. The stand’s most popular items are empanadas and guava lemonade.
There is a lot of joy for the students to see customers come to buy or compliment the food they have prepared.
There’s also one aspect that Houguin never knew would be so synonymous with food: the business side of everything.
“We have a supervisor, but most of the time it’s up to us,” Houguin explained. “It’s hard to be able to do that at such a young age. It’s really a good experience. This will help us in our culinary orientation.