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The Red Rose Culinary Academy is an innovative program from Brothers for Change, Inc. Led by head chef Henry Howard, the program is designed to enable formerly incarcerated individuals to engage in vocational and academic training in the food industry, which will eventually lead to sustainable employment. 

The 16-week culinary arts course prepares students with the skills necessary to enter the food industry workforce upon graduation. Curriculum modules include a strong foundation in the basics of food preparation and sanitation, safety, nutrition, restaurant operating procedures, and professional service delivery. This program was recently featured in the San Francisco Examiner, “…joining the Red Rose Culinary Academy isn’t just a learning experience. It’s her golden ticket off the streets, into a steady job and potentially a home.” 

CJCJ’s San Francisco Training Partnership (SFTP) has partnered with the Red Rose Culinary Academy to offer our clients the opportunity to benefit from this excellent employment training program. Currently, six CJCJ students are enrolled in the program and on July 26, they celebrated a 30-day milestone. The students demonstrated the skills they had learned so far at a private lunch ceremony at the West Bay Conference Center where the program is located. They served up a delicious menu of guacamole, salsa, and chips to start, followed by fresh flour tortillas, rice and beans, peppers, and juicy meats. In addition to all of the food being made in-house, the students also demonstrated their service skills table side. I was thoroughly impressed with the quality of both the food and the service delivery, and am excited for what is to come as the students embark on the second phase of the program. 

At the end of the meal students received certificates for completion of the first 30-days of this engaging and hands-on course. When asked what they had learned during the past month, communication, sanitation, cooking temperatures, and team work were the favored lessons among the participants. The rigorous training program requires participants to overcome many challenges and head chef Henry Howard expects dedication and hard work from every student. 

This program has the potential to reshape these individuals’ lives. Obtaining and maintaining employment is one of the key factors that determine an individual’s success when returning from a period of incarceration. CJCJ is proud to be in partnership with the Red Rose Culinary Academy providing this important service to the San Francisco community.