You may know Harvest Kitchen for our signature line of value-added products — like pickles, apple chips, and applesauce. Perhaps you’ve visited our local foods Café + Corner Store in downtown Pawtucket. But did you know that at the very core of all we do is our culinary job training program?
Harvest Kitchen offers a 20-week program comprised of 15 weeks of kitchen training and retail sales experience, followed by a 5-week supported internship. The program is designed to economically benefit two distinct populations in Rhode Island: youth involved with the Department of Children, Youth and Families (DCYF) Juvenile Corrections and Foster Care services, and the farms of Rhode Island, which continually seek new markets for their produce. Our trainees learn a wide range of culinary skills, all of which are desirable to prospective employers. And in doing so, they give new life to gleaned or “B grade” (meaning not quite as pretty) produce from local farms.
A new session of trainees started on February 26th. Our culinary education team has put together a lot of interesting course materials for them, such as team building exercises, goal setting, as well as hands-on activities in the kitchen.
Over the past two weeks, our trainees have been learning about food safety, culinary equipment use, baking measurements, cooking terminology, knife skills, cooking essentials, and how to follow recipes correctly. They will spend just a few more weeks getting familiar with the structure and expectations of the kitchen.
They are settling in and excited about being selected for our program. We hope that everyone enjoys their experience with us!