Our teaching kitchen is the focal point of our operation and was created with the aim of broadening Napa’s workforce and inspiring a new generation of culinary professionals and entrepreneurs. The Foodshed Internship Program is unique in providing Napa’s low-income youth and at-risk and underserved populations with work experience so that they can obtain a food handlers’ permit, work in a commercial kitchen and achieve economic self-reliance.
Our teaching philosophy takes root in a practical, hands-on approach: Interns don’t just learn to prepare seasonal produce and gain knowledge of Italian culinary staples -- they learn how to work as team members by “diving into” the busy work day of a professional kitchen. In fact, our business depends on it. From daily menu meetings where interns receive their assignments from the chef and learn the history of a dish and its preparation from start to finish, to times when the work is fast-paced and intense, the close collaboration of interns and staff is essential.
Upon successful completion of our three-month internship program, participants will be able to:
- Identify growing cycles and seasonal produce;
- Understand professional kitchen terminology;
- Identify current health department code requirements;
- Operate commercial equipment;
- Interpret and convert weight and volume measurements;
- Break down a whole chicken for various applications;
- Clean and prep a wide variety of fresh produce;
- Make fresh bread and pasta from dough;
- Prepare and preserve seasonal produce to be shelf-stable;
- Prepare several basic pasta sauces;
- Package prepared foods for retail sale.
- Foodshed internship graduates will also receive:
- A stipend based on CA minimum wage of $8.25/hour;
- Reimbursement for the cost of their food handler’s permit fee;
- Job placement assistance.
And the benefits aren’t limited to program graduates. By forging alliances with other local restaurants, Foodshed is also providing Napa’s service-based economy with a consistent source of highly skilled future employees.