Chef Andy Elf had a vision is to model a culinary and life-skill empowerment program, styled after FareStart restaurant in Seattle. Chef Andy has discovered culinary is an effective avenue for teaching life skills because there are many jobs available and many life lessons learned in the kitchen. Through periodic training, culminating in a final evening’s skill presentation, Chef Andy has his students present a 5-course dinner with attention to all the factors important in high-end restaurant business. He teaches harmony, love, communication, passion for food, and how food gets presented. Chef Andy takes a group of 8 students who are eager to learn and trains them about how to make a professional kitchen function.
For the future, Chef Andy proposes a quarterly cadence of workshops to those women interested in the culinary field. By following the FareStart model, funding is exclusively sought from local businesses. Chef Andy wants to get increased buy-in from the community for support, such as food and supplies.
Participants are given the opportunity to learn hands-on culinary skills and job placement. To date we’ve had 9 full graduates with immediate job placement.