The longtime instructor at Frankford High School in Northeast Philly is at the center of Pressure Cooker, a film that tells the true-life stories of three high school seniors with "unique hardships, but with the shared goal of winning scholarships to the country's best culinary schools."
The filmmakers look into the students' home lives, as well as how they hold up under the pressure of Stephenson's drill-sergeant-with-a-heart-of-gold teaching style and how they handle the heat of the kitchen competition.
The documentary, which makes its Philadelphia debut Friday, June 12 at the Ritz at the Bourse, has made the festival rounds where it picked up a number of prizes, including Best Documentary at the Philadelphia Film Festival.
If you're a real food nerd, the Ritz has another treat in store for you. Food, Inc., an expose on the industrial food complex opens the following weekend.