Conquering Homelessness through Employment in Food Services

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Conquering Homelessness through Employment in Food Services
CHEFS is a 5-month culinary training program that provides instruction in technical and professional skills enhancement necessary for entry into the food service industry. Students are provided with classroom instruction, in-kitchen hands-on training and an internship at a local restaurant or institutional kitchen setting.

Who is qualified to become a CHEFS student?

Individuals qualify if they live:
• On the street
• In a shelter
• In transitional housing
• In a residential treatment program
• In a supportive housing building
• Meet HUD (Housing and Urban Development) definition of extreme low income

CHEFS Curriculum Topics:

Kitchen safety and sanitation Knife skills
Kitchen etiquette/Teamwork Kitchen equipment and vocabulary
Standard cooking methods Preparation of stocks and sauces
International cuisine Baking & Pastry
Vegetarian/Vegan cooking Menu planning/Nutrition
Culinary math Life skills and work readiness skills

CHEFS students intern in a variety of environments throughout San Francisco, ranging from fine dining restaurants to institutional kitchens and bakeries. A sample follows:

1300 on Fillmore
Zingari Ristorante
4505 Burgers & BBQ Restaurant
Salvation Army Senior Meals Program
Bayview Hunter's Point Senior Day Center
E & O Asian Kitchen
St. Francis Yacht Club

A full list of current internship sites can be viewed here.

Local chefs and restaurateurs provide a tremendous amount of support for the program by opening their kitchens to CHEFS interns or volunteering time as guest instructors. Below is a sampling of the many professionals donating to CHEFS.

Michael Bauer of the SF Chronicle Food Critic and Guest Judge
Marlene Sorosky Gray Introduction to Taste/Salad
Bob Helstrom of Kuleto's Meat/Restaurant Careers
David Lawrence of 1300 on Fillmore New Soul Food
Laurie MacKenzie of Mission Pie Cafe Mexican Cuisine
Tim Felkner of Vigilante Hospitality Restaurant Operations
Preeti Mistry of Juhu Beach Club Kitchen Culture
Sharon Nahm of E & O Asian Kitchen Appetizers

A full list of current chefs and restaurateurs can be viewed here.

Where is CHEFS located?

Canon Kip Community House
705 Natoma Street (at 8th)
San Francisco, CA 94103
Canon Barcus Community House
165 Eight Street
San Francisco, CA 94103

Interested in enrolling or learning more about CHEFS? Please contact:
Melanie Brew, CHEFS Program Manager, at or (415) 487-3300 x6117
Denise Carrillo, CHEFS Case Manager/Employment Specialist, at or (415) 487-3300 x6115

Interested in CHEFS Catering? Please contact:
Chef Al Leddy, Catering and Culinary Training Manager, at or (415) 487-3300 x6112.