How It Works
Foodshed trainees are hired and work under a three-month probationary period and stay on thereafter based on performance. Participants train at least 20 hours per week. Schedules may vary week to week so that trainees have the opportunity to work on both morning and afternoon shifts and become exposed to every aspect of operating a commercial kitchen and restaurant. Shift times, however, do vary with a given day’s work load and trainees are expected to contribute as needed. Trainee responsibilities include cooking, serving, cleaning, compost and recycling disposal, organizing inventory (to name a few) – they become involved in practically every aspect of the working kitchen and restaurant/retail operation. As trainees are increasingly experienced, they take full responsibility for dishes from prep to plate/package and/or customer service, depending on their area of interest.
The first few weeks are a period of transition and immersion into a new environment. Trainees get to know the staff and a new kitchen, as well as learn the basics of the schedule, local ingredients, kitchen systems, and the rhythm of the work day. The hope is that trainees will become familiar with the ins and outs of the kitchen after finishing their first two weeks with the program and identifying a desired area of focus. Thereafter, they will meet with the chef and/or floor manager for a review of their work on a regular basis. These meetings are intended as shared dialogues and provide staff as well as the trainees with an opportunity to chart progress and define goals for the probationary period. At any time, a trainee can schedule a meeting with staff to discuss their progress or any matters of concern.