This is too good for words – the pictures tell it all! We (the staff at New England Cheesemaking Supply Co.) wish Sprouts was a national organization so we could see it in action locally! We contribute supplies (for making ricotta) and we hope you will consider contributing as well. It’s such a great idea!
What is Sprouts?
It’s a non-profit in the San Francisco Bay Area with a mission to teach children how to cook with real chefs, using real ingredients, in real restaurants. But, there’s so much more…
5 Great Programs:
1) Chef in Training (CIT) program:
From their website:
This internship gives young adults 16 to 24 years-old the opportunity to gain real-time, real-life, hands-on experience while receiving a stipend for their work.
Chef-in-Training (CIT) Interns work two, 8-hour shifts each week, mastering skills such as pastas, starters and salads, desserts, prep, and grill.
They check in weekly with a Sprouts’ advisor and their mentor chef in order to record and monitor their progress and maximize their potential in the program.
Post-graduation, they receive job search coaching to increase their chances of landing a sustainable job in the restaurant industry.
So far, Sprouts has seen the successful graduation of 20 interns, and helped secure a post-internship job for 13 of these interns.
2) Subsidized, in-restaurant cooking classes and camps for diverse Bay-Area children, ages 7-12 years old.
Camps are one week classes in some of the best restaurants in the Bay Area. Kelsey Leib (Operations Manager) told us, ” We just ran winter camp – this season we had 10 chefs teaching classes for our 38 participating students, and one of the chefs is a graduate of our Chef-In-Training Program!
Through farm visits and trips to the farmers’ market, kids from ALL backgrounds can learn where their food comes from. We are on an adventure to find the freshest ingredients… and have a great time all along the way. It’s an awesome, educational, and hands-on experience.”
3) Subsidized, after school cooking classes at public and Title 1 schools in the Bay Area that teach nutritional basics, sugar awareness, and cooking skills to diverse youth.
(I have to say that a few tears leaked out of my eyes when I watched the video about this program.) Basically, the classes are taught after school, once a week for 7-12 weeks. The kids are taught to cook nutritious meals, a skill that will help them for their entire lives.
There are currently 13 schools listed on the website as participants in this program. Here’s a sample timeline:
3:05 Students arrive
3:05 -3:10 Menu and Recipe Rundown, explanation of stations and steps
3:10 – 4:10 Hands-on Cooking!
4:10-4:17 – Station clean-up
4:17- 4:35 – Lunch! Class Recap and Recipe Review and Q+A’s
4) Free cooking classes at Girls Inc, our official Bay-Area nonprofit partner.
During the summer months and after-school hours, Sprouts holds classes at Girls Inc. (they give 44 free classes a month to Girls Inc.!), the Seneca Center For Troubled Youth, public schools, and Bay Area restaurants such as Delfina and Chez Panisse.
5) Free and subsidized cooking classes for youth with emotional and physical disabilities, in partnership with community organizations such as CoachArt and Phillips Academy
If you think you might like to sign your child up for these 2 hour, hands-on classes, there is a brief Participant Information Form to fill out (click here).
Sprouts Chef-in-Training Video Wins National Awards
Sprouts Chef-in-Training Intern Invited to Cook on Fox40
Sprouts Kid Chef Invited to Bake on The Food Network
SF Chronicle puts Sprouts on the front page
NY Times features Sprouts Cooking Club
A Quick Overview of Sprouts’ Chef-in-Training Program