"Pressure Cooker" a documentary. If you are a fan on Hell's Kitchen, or Kitchen Nightmares, or any other cooking program available on television these days, please consider this documentary. James and I watched this last night and really enjoyed it.
Wilma Stephenson is a force to be reckoned with, in the culinary arts department at Frankford High School, in inner city Philadelphia. She is uncompromising and relentless in her pursuit of her students' education in culinary arts - she goes beyond being just another teacher at Frankford High, she becomes mentor, mother, mother confessor, and cheerleader for her students. 40% of the students at Frankford High never make it to their senior year. Wilma has a reputation as being stern, and hard to like as a teacher, but she has her reasons - work hard to get out of Northeast Philadelphia with a realistic goal.
This film follows Wilma and her students through an entire school year, their ups and downs, trimuphs and failures, in their pursuit of careers in culinary arts.
Towards the end of every school year in Philadelphia, there is a competition held strictly for culinary arts student from every school in Philadelphia that offers this course. This particular year, 5 of Wilma's students make it to the finals. Top chefs from the area judge each student's skill and talent, with scholarships from $1,000 to over $80,000 to be awarded to those judged the most motivated and talented.
There are some moments of humor, some moments of sadness, and moments of feeling like shouting "You Can Do It!" I knew how Wilma felt, "sitting on the sidelines" waiting for the results of her students' results, and the moment when her students will either hear their name called for a scholarship, and if so, which one.
Hope you will consider, and equally hope that you will enjoy this film.