Celebrity Chef Tom Douglas Mentors 4 Youth in Latest Treehouse Video

By Catherine Krummey, Treehouse Marketing & Social Media Manager

Four of the youth we serve were recently mentored by renowned Seattle chef Tom Douglas. Treehouse youth Paris, Skyler, Philipe and Journey all want to pursue culinary careers.

“This experience really made me realize how easily attainable this dream is,” Journey said. “It’s not just a dream anymore. I’m actually making my way there now.”

Tom invited our youth to Hot Stove Society, his culinary learning space in Seattle. He taught them the proper way to cut up a chicken and how to make three delicious meals—roast chicken, stir fry and chicken piccata.

“I was whooping it up in the kitchen,” Philipe said. “I got to learn how to cook chicken properly. I learned how to cook stir fry the right way—from Tom Douglas. It was pretty cool.”

Tom owns numerous restaurants, hosts his own radio show “Seattle Kitchen” on KIRO Radio and once defeated Masaharu Morimoto on “Iron Chef America.”

Alongside Tom, the youth cooked dinner for themselves and the Treehouse staff who have supported them.

“We cooked an amazing dinner,” Paris said.

All four youth appreciated the opportunity to improve their cooking skills and ask Tom for advice as they pursue culinary careers.

“I just wanted to soak up as much knowledge as possible, because that’s Tom Douglas,” Skyler said.

Tom wanted to partner with Treehouse on this mentoring project because he has seen how critical the work we do to support youth in foster care is.

“You have to find out what your end goal is to get through tougher times,” he said. “That’s what I like about Treehouse, they’re there to support these kids.”

Paris, Skyler, Philipe and Journey have all participated in our Graduation Success program, which pairs them with an Education Specialist who serves as a mentor while they navigate through high school and decide what they want to do after they graduate.

“Treehouse has opened so many doors for me. It’s crazy,” Skyler said. “I told them I wanted a culinary career, and they said: ‘We can help you achieve that. We will support your dream.’ ”

In our continuing work to open doors for the youth we serve, we’ve started another program, Launch Success. The post-high school program provides young people who have experienced foster care with continued support until they achieve stable housing, a degree or credential, and a living wage.

“Treehouse still helps me a lot,” Paris said, citing this experience with Tom as an example. “I wouldn’t know how to do this on my own.”

Seventy percent of youth in foster care nationwide dream of attending college. Right now, less than half earn a high school diploma, and less than 3 percent go on to earn a bachelor’s degree. Treehouse’s outstanding 82 percent extended high school graduation rate creates a strong foundation for the new program.

The mentoring experience was captured on video. This is the fourth mentoring video from Treehouse. Previous videos feature Mike McCready of Pearl Jam creating a song with five youth, best-selling author Marissa Meyer of “The Lunar Chronicles” coaching a young writer and renowned paper-cut artist Barbara Earl Thomas having three youth join her on a project that displayed at EXPO Chicago.

Learn how you can support Treehouse in our mission to give youth in foster care a childhood and a future at treehouseforkids.org/take-action.

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About the Author

Catherine Krummey is the Marketing and Social Media Manager at Treehouse. She is passionate about storytelling and excited to share stories about Treehouse through social media, blog posts and newsletters.

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