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David Lissner
for restaurants

Documentary showcases the pressure cooker of prep for culinary careers

It’s culinary-arts boot camp at Philadelphia’s Frankford High School, where three inner-city seniors — guided by instructor Wilma Stephenson — struggle to learn the kitchen skills necessary to achieve scholarships to top cooking schools, and ultimately, restaurant careers. Their keen preparation and “Top Chef”-style intensity, mirroring that of some of Chicago’s young chefs-to-be, form the subject of “Pressure Cooker,” an award-winning documentary.

Screenings for the Chicago premiere of “Pressure Cooker” take place at 6 p.m. Friday, Aug. 21, 3 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 22, and 6:15 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 25, at the Gene Siskel Film Center in the Loop. At Friday’s opening, Nicola Copeland, coordinator, of the Chicago Careers through Culinary Arts Program, and Anthony McPhee, alumnus, will be on hand for audience discussion. Tickets are $10 general admission; $7 students.