After serving a short time in prison, Antonio was working on his GED when he enrolled in the Foodservice Training program. He graduated with flying colors, and now works as a line cook at Inspiration Kitchens – Garfield Park.
“I come in here, and the outside world is gone. I’ve never had anything like that, and Inspiration Kitchens changed my life. And I love you all for that.”
The 13-week training program prepares participants for careers in the hospitality industry through hands-on and classroom training. Curriculum includes basic culinary skills and concepts, reading and converting recipes, nutrition education, following and taking direction, teamwork, sanitation and safety, restaurant service, employment and life skills classes, and the ServSafe® city and state foodservice sanitation course.
Students get hands-on experience by training at one of our two social enterprise restaurants: Inspiration Kitchens – Uptown at 4715 N. Sheridan Road or Inspiration Kitchens–Garfield Park at 3504 W. Lake Street. There, they work lunch, brunch and dinner shifts and learn a broad range of skills. The internship gives students real-life work experience and a reference for future employers. Once placed into employment, graduates are eligible for indefinite supportive services to ensure job retention and promote career advancement.
The first step to enrolling in the program is to attend an open orientation. Orientations are held every Wednesday at 1:00PM at Inspiration Cafe, 4554 N. Broadway.
The Foodservice Training program received the United Way of Metropolitan Chicago's Highly Innovative Program Award in 2005 and the Harry Chapin Foundation's Self-Reliance Award in 2007.
If you are interested in finding out more information on Inspiration Kitchens, including information on catering or restaurant hours, menus and location, please visit the Inspiration Kitchens website.