Community Kitchen Academy

Prepared ingredients

Student cutting onions

Student practicing knife skills

Community Kitchen Academy is a culinary job training program operated in partnership between Feeding Chittenden and the Vermont Foodbank. Students develop the professional and interpersonal skills they need to find and retain employment in the hospitality industry. Meals prepared in the program are used to fight hunger in the community.

A professional chef instructor teaches unemployed and underemployed Vermonters marketable skills that prepare them for sustainable careers in the food service industry, helping to break the cycle of poverty and hunger.

Students learn about safe kitchen practices—including safe knife handling, preventing cuts, burns, handling accidents and fires, managing food allergies—and a variety of skills such as knife sharpening, knife and equipment identification, food safety practices, various cooking methods, food receiving and storage, the preparation of nutritious recipes and appropriate portion sizes.

Students will also undergo ServSafe training - a nationally recognized certification program essential to safety in food production and storage. 

The combination of this specialized culinary skills training and the work readiness training provided through the integrated life skills program ensure that upon graduation, students will be certified professionals who are ready and qualified to gain employment in the food service industry. In addition to job training, Community Kitchen Academy performs another function, rescuing produce, meat and other foods that would otherwise be wasted from restaurants, farms and food service companies.

Students work with instructors to cook the food and produce meals that are then cryovac sealed and sent out through the Feeding Chittenden Soup Kitchen and Food Shelf.

Community Kitchen Academy logo - a vermont foodback partnership

For more information or to request a paper copy of an application, contact Culinary Manager & Chef Instructor Jon Barzensky at