May 02, 2022

Kitchen Academy Graduate Reflects on Experience

Last week, St. Vincent’s Kitchen Academy, operated by Catholic Community Services, celebrated the completion of the most recent cohort with a graduation ceremony.  

One of the cohort’s graduates, Jessica, shared what the last twelve weeks of culinary training have been like, and all that it’s meant to her.  

“Growing up, I always liked cooking. Even if it was just a quesadilla or grilled cheese,” Jessica said. “I saw a sign for this program and thought ‘That looks super cool. I could try that.’” 

Knowing that the next twelve weeks would be intense, Jessica expressed her nerves to her mom.  

“I told my mom about it and wasn’t sure if I could do it,” Jessica said. “My mom said, ‘Just give it two weeks and if the two weeks are too hard and stressful, don’t do it.’ Then I totally forgot about the two weeks. It’s hard, but it’s so worth it.” 

According to St. Vincent’s Kitchen Academy’s Chef Trainer, Alexandria DeAngelo, during the program, students learn all the same material typically taught in a three-year culinary program. However, the hard work pays off. To date, every graduate of St. Vincent's Kitchen Academy has been offered a job upon completion of the program. 

During the externship portion of the program, Jessica was placed at The Capitol Grille. Jessica was offered a job there before graduation and started immediately after.

Jessica has already begun working her way up the ladder in the culinary world, and has set goals for her career. According to Jessica, her dream is to work on Disney Cruise Ships. 

Click here to learn more about St. Vincent’s Kitchen Academy and apply for the next cohort.