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.

CLICK HERE to read the fall/winter 2017 newsletter. Check out important dates for events including a gingerbread house auction and a pie sale.  

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 Coordinators Shelby Barone: (949) 633-4170 or Nancy MacDonald: (657)201-8873. Please include caption details (name of dish, student's full name, class level, etc.)

Read More
Conservatory News & Events

High Volume Production Luncheon

How many students dined at the first High Volume Production Luncheon held at the DMS? If you didn't, make sure you give it a try during the next luncheon scheduled for Dec. 7. The theme for the $6 meal: "Fresh Off the Grill."

The luncheon is a menu collabortation from our two HVP students Osman and Hailey. But they can't do it alone. If you're a level 4 student, please consider volunteering for this monthly event. "The goal of these special lunches is to elevate the HVP class, bring our seniors together to be even more involved with our conservatory as well as increase CA&H presence on campus," Chef Mattos said.

This is a great way to end your senior year by helping Showcase everything you've learned during your time at OCSA.

But don't you think we need a new name?  What about 10th Street Eats, Dining at the DMS, Culinary Corner?

Send your suggestions to Chef Mattos: 

P.S. If non-seniors want to volunteer, check with Chef Mattos.

High Volume Production Luncheon
<h1>Holiday 2017 Fundraisers</h1>

Holiday 2017 Fundraisers

Back by Popular Demand: Due to time constraints, we didn't have a pie sale for Thanksgiving. However, Chef Mattos tells us he's planning a Holiday Pie Sale before students leave on winter break. We're also having a Gingerbread House Auction. 

Stay tuned for more details. 



<p>Master Classes</p>

Master Classes

Some of our most talented local chefs have visited our Conservatory to conduct a Master Class. We've had visits from Chefs Pascal Olhats and Zov Karamardian. In early November, thanks to the OCSA-sponsored The Master Artist Series, we were lucky to get a big-time food star: Chef Alex Guarnaschelli. The Iron Chef is best known as being a regular judge on Chopped. She is also the executive chef of Butter in New York. She studied in France at La Varenne Cooking School in Burgundy and worked under many French restaurateurs.

Chef Alex did not disappoint. Her witty charm and jokes had the students -- and adults -- laughing out loud during the entire demo. She made a delightful grilled brie (with a sliver of rind) sandwich. She grilled it using rosemary and thyme infused oils that she made as part of the demo. Thank you to Maureen and Mike Mekjian, the McBeth Foundation and the Samueli Foundation for supporting the Master Artist Series. 

Conservatory Naming Announcement

Our Conservatory has a new name. During the inaugural 2017 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.

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) 549-0566. 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 12 events in January 2018

Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
Coming up in February