In the Spring of 2019 STAGE Culinary will launch it’s next project with the students of FAIR School Downtown and Wellstone International High School in partnership with the Bush Grant for Innovative Educational Design.  STAGE Culinary will host 16 high schooler’s on a 9 week culinary journey that culminates in a pop-up menu created in collaboration by the students and Chef’s Remy Pettus, and Shane Oporto at the stunning Bardo Restaurant in Northeast Minneapolis.  

One of the aims of a STAGE Culinary project is to offer an incredibly ambitious and authentic learning experience for our students.  Often the extent of these programs comes with an expense a public school can’t fund independently.  We are looking for the public and private support to bring these incredible opportunities to our students.  This exists in the form of press attention as well as financial donations, sponsorships, and partnerships.  

The STAGE Culinary students who will be chosen to participate in the Bardo project will spend 9 weeks learning and cooking under STAGE Executive Chef Shane Oporto (Octo Fish Bar, La Belle Vie), as well as renowned Chef/Owner Remy Pettus of Bardo Restaurant and with support of the entire Bardo staff.  Through a curriculum developed by the STAGE Culinary team the students will develop a one time Pop-Up dining experience where guest will purchase tickets to a student created and prepared tasting menu on May 21st, 2019.  During the 9 week program our team of student chefs will build a restaurant business model from the ground up through the highest level of guidance the Twin Cities food scene can offer.  In addition to the food itself, our students will be analyzing the business decisions associated with producing the culinary event, the marketing needed to sell tickets, and be taking on the roles needed as staff to fully operate a fine dining restaurant.  Our students will be in control of their own success, if they complete a sales mark beyond their break even point profits will go directly to the students themselves making this a truly immersive Experiential Learning experience.  

Bardo sets the perfect environment for a culinary arts journey.  Bardo opened in August 2017 in the Northeast neighborhood of Minneapolis and draws its name from the transitional experience of rebirth in Tibetan Buddhism. They serve modern American cuisine – creative, precise, and seasonal food in a relaxed, yet elegant, setting.  Bardo has solidified itself as one the Midwest’s most progressive and exceptional fine dining establishments.  Chef and Owner Remy Pettus will open his doors to our students to gain a first hand, in-depth culinary experience that brings them into the fray of the highest level of culinary arts and service with one of the countries best Chefs and restaurants.  The final tasting menu will be a collaborative work of art directly from the minds and creativity of the students, while being shaped and elevated to the standards of a Bardo menu through the guidance of Chef’s Remy Pettus and Shane Oporto.


Taking 16 high school students on a 9 week culinary journey is no easy task.  We need outside support to fund the total budget necessary to create this project.  The majority of a STAGE Culinary project is funded by the support of the public and through generous partnerships, sponsors, and supporters.  This is education at the next level and is truly a gift to our public school students.

“When I dreamed up Rivard Art Education & STAGE Culinary I wanted to make a difference in the way our kids experience education.  I wanted to prove that no idea was to big, and no goal was too insurmountable.” - Mark Rivard, Founder and Creator STAGE Culinary/Rivard Art LLC.  It is with that spirit that we seek financial support for our students and the schools that share our ambition in giving these kids honest, rewarding, and enriching projects that build our communities future professionals and leaders.  This is experiential learning at it’s very best.  We aim to create meaningful partnerships through sponsorships that not only create opportunities for our students, but highlight tangible, real interactions with our supporters and guests.  We seek your involvement as much as we need financial support! 

There are numerous levels of support, sponsorship, and partnership.  Please contact Mark Rivard directly at, or 612-599-9756 to set up a brainstorming conversation about how we can build an outstanding partnership through your generous support.


DONATE HERE! Support STAGE's next project with Bardo MPLS!

COMING February 19th! Fundraiser Dinner with Chef Shane Oporto in support of STAGE Culinary!

Chef Shane, the Excutive Chef of STAGE Culinary is poised to present his second tasting dinner at the beautiful Lafayette Club on Lake Minnetonka. This emerisive Tasting Menu will be in support of STAGE Culinary's next project in partnership with Bardo Restaurant of Minneapolis and the amazing students of the Minneapolis Public Schools. Join us on February 19th to hear the incredible story of STAGE Culinary, it's vision for culinary arts educaiton, and we are shaping the way our kids become creative professsional. Hosted generously by the Lafayette Club, and STAGE Culinary Founder Mark Rivard, with special guest Chef Remy Pettus of Bardo.