“What’s the most important thing you learn in the Kitchen of Champions Program?” I asked Wayne who was in the back cutting sweet potatoes while the rest of the cohort busily prepared pork ragu, garlic bread, roasted veggies and cranberry OJ for the St. Vincent de Paul’s free dining room.

admpNEh3BpeqLf0ykfYP5ugCkJbpXL1tMIcFrCyY2QdHkMwz-skrGVvDdZxAGp-5qw=w1600“Working as a team and dealing with the fast-pace environment,” he answered. “You only have 2.5 hours” to cook for the hundreds of people served in the Dining Room each day, “so you have to be fast.” That’s why Wayne is prepping for the next day’s meal. Below is the team’s finished product!



The Daily Grind!

One of the ways that Kitchen of Champions’ Trainees get real-world culinary practice is by preparing the meals served in the SVdP Free Dining Room. The Dining Room serves nearly 800 meals per day and the cohort makes it possible!

On today’s menu: cheeseburgers with a house-made garlic aioli sauce, fries, veggies, and a tutti-fruitti dessert.

IMG_4886Above Carrie prepares the garlic aioli sauce. Carrie needed new job skills and heard about Kitchen of Champions from someone who knew the program and Carrie’s passion for cooking.  When asked if she felt like this was her future, she beamed: “This is it!”IMG_4899Busily preparing the 800 burgers being served today.IMG_4894Kevin, Millie and Heather taking a quick break from service, above. Millie (center) works in the food industry now and is hoping that the program will help advance her career.  Heather (right) and Kevin (left) are both parents who have worked multiple jobs to support their families. When asked how he works two jobs and does the Kitchen of Champions program as a single father, Kevin said, “Women inspire me. If they can do it, I can.”

Artichokes Tournés

In the kitchen last week, the trainees learned how to cook artichokes tournés.

Chef Dorsey demonstrated for the cohort while reviewing everything from cooking technique, to time management, to the costs of ingredients and labor.

IMG_1005The trainees then prepared their own artichokes.

ImageThe stuffing included Swiss chard from the Kitchen of Champions Garden.

IMG_0980Chef Dorsey proudly displays the freshly picked chard (bottom left) before KOC trainee, Rodney, sautés it (below right).


ImageThe finished product!

Cooking For the SVdP Dining Room

One of the ways that Kitchen of Champions’ Trainees get real-world culinary practice is working under Chef Dorsey to help prepare the meals served in the SVdP Free Dining Room.

The cohort has been cooking meals in the Dining Room since week one, so at this point they are pros! QueToday’s main dish is Chicken and Corn Chowder. Below Chef Dorsey gives the trainees in charge of the soup advice on seasoning.

chefgivingadvice The Soup Team (pictured below) explained to me that they started the soup with a Béchemel sauce, one of the five mother sauces. This simple fact connects their classroom work to the kitchen with ease.

soupteamThe Production Manager and Assistant Production Manager (pictured below) are keeping everyone on schedule. They explain: “Everything needs to be ready at 10:30am!”

productionmanager&assistnatAnd not only was the food ready at 10:30am but, as the Soup Team said, “it’s the bomb!”