Conservatory News & Events

Welcome. This portal site is for parents and students to catch up on what's happening in the The Mekjian Family Culinary Arts & Hospitality Conservatory. We will post news about volunteer, job and internship opportunities, as well as provide updates on need-to-know events such as fundraisers and field trips. 

We will also post the Parchment newsletter here, which is a more detailed summary of quarterly events.

The September 2017 edition includes CA&H details about new instructors, volunteer events, internships and a big announcement on a special celebrity chef coming to OCSA. 

Bookmark this page so you don't miss out any vital Conservatory news. 

If you have content to add to the site, please contact Chef Mattos by sending him an email:

You can also share photos by texting our Website and Social Media Coordinator Nancy MacDonald at (657) 201-8873. Please include caption details (name of dish, student's full name, class level, etc.)


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Conservatory News & Events

Conservatory Naming Announcement

Our Conservatory has a new name. During the inaugural Senior Showcase, Dr. Ralph Opacic announced the naming of the The Mekjian Family Culinary Arts & Hospitality Conservatory in recognition of Mike and Maureen Mekjian’s incredible leadership gift to the Masterpiece in the Making campaign. We are thrilled to welcome the Mekjians into our family, and are so excited for the future. 

We Cater

We Cater

Let our talented high school students and their world-class chef instructors make your gathering an event to remember. We are a non-profit organization striving to give our students priceless first-hand experiences at dozens of catering events each year. You will have an impressive event, while also supporting the next generation of culinary talent! We can cater at one of our OCSA venues, or at the location of your choice. Catering proceeds support our program.


Peter Striffolino
Chef Director of Food Operations
714.560.0900 Ext. 6652

Download the Culinary Arts & Hospitality Conservatory's special event catering request form.

Master Classes

Orange County has a vibrant culinary scene with dozens of talented chefs. Over the past year, we've been honored to have Chefs Pascal Olhats (shown), Zov Karamardian and Chris Tzorin visit our kitchens. Olhats, one of the best known French chefs in Orange County, gave a cooking demo last year for Level 1 students. He prepared chilled poached oysters with a Chardonnay cream and caviar sauce on wilted spinach. Creating a menu is "like making music -- it just comes together," he told the students.

Another lesson? Don't over complicate your dishes.

As long as it "tastes good," that's all that matters.


Got a suggestion for a master chef demo? Let us know by emailing Chef Mattos:

Master Classes

Management Team nabs 1st Place at ProStart Cup

OCSA's three ProStart teams performed fabulously at the 2017 California ProStart Cup. Our Management Team earned First Place. Congratulations to Hannah, Amber and Emily.  

What is ProStart? The event, in its 15th year in California, is an electrifying competition that puts high school culinary students to the ultimate test. It is organized by the California Restaurant Association Foundation. Judges include industry professionals from top restaurants and hotels. Besides bragging rights, thousands of dollars in scholarship money are at stake. 

This year, ProStart awarded OCSA a $1,900 grant to put towards strengthening its CA&H program.

Gallery: View Team 2017 Highlights (below)


Got Questions or Suggestions?

  • Got a photo to submit? Please email our PAC social media coordinator with your photo: You can also text photos to (657) 201-8873. Please don't forget to provide caption details.

  • Got content suggestions? Email Chef

Q: Why is the Parent Funding Agreement so important?

A: The PFA is the donation* each family pledges to the Conservatory. Your pledges help support all aspects of the Conservatory program. It pays for the ingredients and food needed for a robust cooking program, maintenance of appliances, new equipment, instructor salaries, master chef fees and extracurricular activities. 

The 2016-2017 Budget Overview:

  • $437,000 supports 95 students in the program
  • PFA Pledge: $288,598, or 66% of budget
  • Expected Fallout (Unfulfilled Pledges): $51,948 
  • Current actual budget: $236,650, or 54% of total budget

*Donations are tax deductible. 

Q: Why is the Parent Funding Agreement so important?
Ronald McDonald House

Ronald McDonald House

Students are  invited to volunteer at the Orange County Ronald McDonald House located near OCSA at 383 S. Batavia St. in Orange. The Ronald McDonald House serves as a "home-away-from-home” for families of children undergoing treatment for cancer and other life-threatening illnesses at facilities such as CHOC and St. Joseph Hospital.  

We will list the next volunteer event here.

Stay tuned for more information. 

Support Donations / Reimbursements

Would you like to support The Mekjian Family Culinary Arts & Hospitality Conservatory?  Please note that support donations are not part of the Parent Funding Agreement (PFA).

If you should have any questions or concerns regarding donations, feel free to contact Chef Daniel Mattos at 714-560-0900, ext. 6650 or by email at:

The Orange County School of the Arts is organized as a non-profit organization under IRS code 501(c)(3) our Tax ID is 33-0891574.
All cash donations are fully tax deductible as provided by law.

We found 13 events in September 2017

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