- Forney ISD
BBQ Master and Catering Expert, Eddie Deen, partners with Forney ISD
There is no doubt that good food can be linked to unique experiences. For Eddie Deen, the moments when he and his catering company have served thousands of people at once have created unforgettable experiences driven by massive amounts of planning and flawless execution. Those experiences, combined with his passion for community, have built a barbecue legend.
Forney ISD is proud to announce that Eddie Deen & Company has signed on to bring their catering and barbeque expertise to help guide and teach students in The Opportunity Central (The OC), a Forney Independent School District initiative. Slated to open in the fall of 2023, their eatery will feature barbeque and Mary Sue’s Chicken in honor of Eddie Deen’s mother’s famous recipe.
The OC is a career, college and community center to feature select business partners who are dedicated to student career education and providing experiences for real-world skills training and career development.
"We will be setting the stage for Forney ISD students to believe they have the power to create the outcome they want. There are laws that govern these outcomes including how to feed 15,500 people in 38 minutes at a gubernatorial inaugural, 32,000 people during a presidential inauguration or feed 13,000 people with only a 7 hour notice for evacuees at the Dallas Convention Center during Hurricane Katrina,” said Deen.
“There are equal laws that govern successful businesses and entrepreneurs such as courage, neutrality, willingness, acceptance, reason, love, joy and peace of mind,” Deen continued. “We look forward to helping make The Opportunity Central a place of entertainment, a place of enlightenment and to shine a light on the education of the future."
While Deen is well-known for mastering the art of barbecue, his passion is for community outreach. He has been instrumental in helping students and others towards the path of success through mentorship as well as work and training opportunities. Through his partnership with FISD, Deen strives to provide students with an educational experience unlike any other.
“Eddie Deen is a barbecue legend with a servant’s heart. His approach to cooking BBQ includes time-tested cooking methods along with applied science, chemistry and engineering,” said Forney ISD Superintendent Dr. Justin Terry. “Our students will have the opportunity to learn and engage in real-world experiences from a legendary chef and business professional.”
The OC includes 350,000 sq ft of space and is three stories tall. The first floor of the facility will feature a mall-like setting where students earn class credit by participating in real-world practicums led by business leaders. The community will have access to the first floor to patronize the shops, eateries and other services offered by partner businesses. The second and third floors of The OC have secured entries for student classroom instruction and labs during the school day.
The OC will offer a variety of multipurpose spaces for events and continuing education. The facility will be open extended hours, seven days a week. Dallas College and Texas Tech University will also provide higher education classes available to the public in the evenings and weekends. Other spaces include an early childhood academy, fine arts theater, automotive workshop, construction lab, cosmetology suite, esports lab, and several other exciting learning spaces.
For more information, visit www.theOC.net.