SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)— It used to be you couldn’t get Grandma Banata’s peanut butter stew anywhere outside her kitchen. Well, things have changed.
“It’s peanut butter, coconut milk [and] chicken breast.” Chef Kevin Tucker tweaked the recipe, brought to him by Abu Banata, one of the young people who was working with him. Now it’s on the menu at the Old Skool Café, a youth-run supper club in San Francisco’s Bayview District.
The restaurant is serving up opportunity to young people that are hungry for a better life. Mike Sugerman checked out the eatery and project and he says the food’s pretty good.
Teresa Goines, a former correctional officer who runs the supper club, acknowledges the people who work here have had other careers before.
“Usually drug dealing or robbing people,” said Goines.
Including young people like Deseree Maldinado.
“Staying out late, not going home, drinking, stealing at stores and stuff like that,” Maldinado said.
Goines is happy to give the kids a second chance and said the revolving door of kids coming in and out of corrections facilities “with no vision for their life,” broke her heart.
The Bayview has a reputation for being a tough neighborhood, but that didn’t stop Goines’ inspiration to start Old Skool, giving the servers, cooks, dishwashers and everyone else involved, a fresh start.
“When the youth come here, their mindset is the streets. When they leave here, their mindset is taking care of business,” said Tucker.
And what do the clientele recommend? The shrimp and grits get rave reviews. Apparently the gumbo is to die for. One customer said he was full, but was getting an order of ribs to go anyways.
Goines said the young people who make and serve the food are getting a taste for a better life.