Rancho Cielo Secures $1 Million for Pastry Kitchen

The Community Project Funding initiative enables members of Congress to advocate for specific projects that directly benefit their districts. It’s a significant step in supporting local communities.

Rep. Zoe Lofgren, California’s 18th Congressional District, requested funding for 14 local projects totaling $50,095,535. On Saturday, March 9, President Biden signed off on the initiative.

Among the projects on Rep. Lofgren’s list is funding for Rancho Cielo to expand its Drummond Culinary Academy. This expansion aims to transform the academy into a state-of-the-art culinary center, providing students with unparalleled opportunities.

The Culinary Advisory Committee at Rancho Cielo, in conjunction with labor market data, underscores the need for pastry chefs—a specialized trade that local restaurants and hotels seek. By investing in these facilities, Rancho Cielo’s DCA students will benefit from enriched experiences, essential resources, and skill enhancement. Ultimately, this investment will contribute to better living wages for our graduates.

With the support of the Community Development Funds, we plan to build a 1,200-square-foot pastry kitchen on Rancho Cielo grounds. The kitchen will be adjacent to the central kitchen and dining room, including a lab/classroom, production room, administrative office, storage space, and restrooms.

With an innovative, fully equipped pastry kitchen, we aim to create a social micro-enterprise modeled after Homeboy Industries. The pastry kitchen alone will allow us to do so, and this will add entrepreneurship skills and knowledge for students to start a path toward creating their own businesses. Our curriculum combines the science of baking, an artist’s finesse and an entrepreneur’s strategy.

“This funding will allow us to offer more specialized training and continue shaping the next generation of culinary professionals,” says DCA Executive Chef Estevan Jimenez.

Consolidated Appropriations Act 2024

Community Project Funding

Press Release from Rep. Zoe Lofgren’s Office

Monterey Herald Feature