Culinary arts in Camden

Culinary arts in Camden

cathedralkitchengrads-webThe eighth class of the Cathedral Kitchen’s culinary arts students graduated on Jan. 10. Since the CAT Program’s beginning in 2009, three-quarters of graduates have found employment in the food service industry.

Cathedral Kitchen (CK), a nonprofit organization that has been feeding the poor of Camden since 1976, saw its eighth class of culinary arts students graduate on Jan. 10.

The 17-week Culinary Arts Training (CAT) program included 595 hours of academic instruction and training in cooking techniques. The students also gained food preparation work experience as they helped the kitchen staff prepare an average of 380 meals each day.

The program is funded entirely with private donations from corporations and foundations.

Students also participated in life skills, financial literacy and interviewing techniques workshops as part of their course of study. During November they took part in mock interviews conducted by area food service employers. The final part of the CAT curriculum included two-week internships at one of the following locations: Blackbird Dining Establishment, West Side Gravy, Sweetwater Bar & Grill, Audubon Crossings Chick-fil-A, Denny’s, Metro Diner and Mirko’s A Taste of Europe. Several students began employment in the field prior to the start of their internships.

Program Manager Rita Cinelli will continue to work with the remaining graduates to help secure positions in the culinary industry. Since the CAT Program’s beginning in 2009, three- quarters of graduates have found employment in the food service industry.

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