culinary arts academy
The Culinary Arts program brings youth into the kitchen with the guidance of a trained vocational instructor each week for 12 weeks. During that time, they learn about and practice the preparation of a number of foods using varying cooking styles. Upon completion, youth can be supported to establish models such as a profit sharing catering venture made up of peers who have also completed the program. At a Boston location where 150 youth have participated in Youth Link’s Culinary program, the young people cater dinners to events that occur both within their housing development and around the city. The training has offered a new sense of confidence, independence and creative expression for many participants. The sharing of food has also brought the community together with busy police officers stopping in to break bread with the teens and families from around the world sharing their traditional foods as a way of building relationships and overcoming language and cultural barriers.
Youth Link can train community partners to adapt the curriculum within their own communities in a way that harnesses the resources at hand.