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 May/June 2018 newsletter. Check out important dates for events including our end of the year picnic. There's also a dizzying summary of all of our accomplishments this year. 

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 Shelby Barone: (949) 633-4170. Please include caption details (name of dish, student's full name, class level, etc.).

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Conservatory News & Events

10th Street Eats

If you haven’t heard about it yet, 10th Street Eats is a monthly to bi-monthly limited time offer to an extension of our seasonal cafeteria menu.  10th Street Eats menus are designed and executed by our High Volume Production students. Not only does this offer all OCSA students additional menu choices, but it provides opportunities for seniors to work with the other grades in CA&H and allows the senior to showcase their skills for all to taste.

"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.

Look out for advertisements of the next menu offering.  We’ll be set-up on 10th Street selling our tasty treats.    

If you have suggestions for menu ideas or want to volunteer, please contact Chef Mattos: 


10th Street Eats

Management Team nabs 1st Place Again

OCSA's three ProStart teams competed in mid-March at the 2018 California ProStart Cup. Our Management Team earned First Place for the second consecutive year. OCSA also took home first place honors in the newly created Innovation contest. Our culinary team placed 11th. We're so proud of all the players. CLICK HERE to read more about the event.

What is ProStart? The event, in its 16th 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. 



Master Classes

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 Culinary Operations
714.560.0900 Ext. 6652

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

Got Questions or Suggestions?

  • Got a photo to submit? Please email our PAC social media coordinator Shelby Barone with your photos:  or text (949) 633-4170. Please don't forget to provide caption details.

  • Got content suggestions? Email Chef

Community Outreach

Community Outreach

We believe it’s important to give back to the community wherever we can.  These opportunities fulfill the gratitude of helping others, they provide experiences for students, allows for the different levels of conservatory to work with each other and brings attention to the importance of building community.  

Support Donations / Reimbursements

Would you like to support The Mekjian Family Culinary Arts & Hospitality Conservatory? Please note that these donations should be above and beyond the annual parent Voluntary Contribution Agreement, which provides core funding for the arts conservatory programs.

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:

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.

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