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Foodlink Program Seeks Aspiring Chefs

Staff report

Foodlink Career Fellowship Class of 2020: Top row, from left, Brandi Williams, Jimmy Stiner, Tyeasha Hendrix, Wayne Lucas. Bottom row: Javia Hart. Photo provided by Foodlink

What would it be like to be a chef?

Foodlink may help you answer that question.

The Foodlink Career Fellowship is an intensive culinary training program for individuals who have experienced barriers to sustainable employment.

The yearlong program is a state-registered cook apprenticeship and includes classroom and hands-on training in Foodlink’s state-of-the-art commercial kitchen.

Fellows work with Foodlink Community Kitchen staff in preparing thousands of healthy meals daily for Rochester children and learn how to work in a high-volume kitchen environment.

“The Foodlink Career Fellowship is an awesome opportunity for people that have a passion for cooking, and want to gain knowledge of culinary techniques,” current participant Charnel Council said in a news release.

Recruitment for a new class runs through May. Students will begin the program in June.

“Aspiring chefs who have a passion for the culinary arts but have struggled to find living-wage employment are given an excellent opportunity to succeed through the Foodlink Career Fellowship,” Jes Scannell, director of Career Empowerment Initiatives for Foodlink, said in the news release. “The program allows fellows to learn, train and graduate into middle-skills jobs and promising careers in the regional food industry.”

A participant in the 2021 Foodlink Career Fellowship program. Provided by Foodlink.

Prospective applicants must be nominated by a local community-based organization, employer, caseworker, or mentor. The nomination/application form is available at

For more information about the Foodlink Career Fellowship, send an email to:

Foodlink is a Rochester-based nonprofit dedicated to ending hunger and building healthier communities by addressing both the symptoms and root causes of food insecurity. Foodlink is the hub of the emergency food system across a 10-county service area and administers programs to build the health and wealth of communities.