Cooking novices find ingredients for success in Kitchens for Good culinary crash course – The San Diego Union-Tribune
The apprentices gather around the prep tables inside the commercial kitchen of San Diego nonprofit Kitchens For Good, chatting and laughing, happily trading culinary tips.
They responded to a call to bring in their favorite holiday recipe and prepare the dish at their training site, located at the Salvation Army’s Door of Hope campus in Birdland. That done, they are seeking plating advice from chef Amanda Palomino — a former two-time contestant on “Hell’s Kitchen,” celebrity chef Gordon Ramsey’s reality TV show — and now chef-instructor for Kitchen For Good’s culinary apprenticeship program, Project Launch.
Around them, staff cooks overseen by executive chef Ryan Rizzuto put finishing touches on food they’ve prepared from scratch for Kitchens for Good’s hunger relief program. Arriving volunteers form an assembly line to portion and package the 2,000 weekly ready-to-heat-and-eat nutritious meals that the organization distributes to vulnerable residents through local social service agencies, shelters and senior residences. Some apprentices volunteer after class to assist; all of the trainees, for a variety of reasons, are in search of their own fresh start after emerging from tough situations.
It’s hard to believe that this group, eight of the 19 enrolled in the current 25th class or “cohort,” is just 12 days into the initial stage of their 20-month apprenticeship program. Already, they seem comfortable in the kitchen environment.
During this introductory phase of their cooking classes, they learn basic “life skills and knife skills” while gaining confidence and professional training that will enable them to be hired, survive and thrive in jobs in the fast-paced culinary workplace. Chef Amanda aims to condense the essentials of her two-year culinary school experience into their three-month session.
Kitchens for Good opens Pacific Beach shop in time for holiday gift-giving
Looking for some gently used or vintage treasures or collectibles for your kitchen, dining room or holiday gifts? Or upscale kitchenware and cookware from Kitchens for Good’s brand partners?
Kitchens for Good’s new Pacific Beach shop had its soft opening on Dec. 14. The shop offers a carefully selected collection of preowned, donated culinary goods as well as celebrity favorite kitchenware and limited edition small-batch food and home items handcrafted by the organization’s apprentices and San Diego social enterprises.
Proceeds from all sales benefit the apprenticeship and hunger relief programs.
The Kitchens for Good shop is located at 980 Hornblend St., with phone number (619) 997-2081. The shop also accepts donations of gently used culinary items. For the latest opening details, visit kitchensforgood.org.
Nicole Sours Larson
After completing their 12-week classroom and cooking program, …….