Fresh Start seeks new students for spring culinary training

Fresh Start Culinary Arts Program in Hood River is accepting student applications for a new term that begins on March 28. The 12-week intensive culinary training program prepares students for entry-level jobs in food service, and is 100% tuition supported, so students attend for free.

Instructors Matt Patterson, left, and Rainbow Trosper, fourth from right, with recent graduates of Fresh Start.

Instructors Matt Patterson, left, and Rainbow Trosper, fourth from right, with recent graduates of Fresh Start.

“We’ve just graduated our fourth cohort and are celebrating our first anniversary,” says program chair and chef Kathy Watson.

“All of our students are graduating and stepping right into jobs.”

Students attend class full-time, and have hands-on and classroom instruction. Students prepare breakfast for the public on Friday and Saturday mornings, and participate in on-site and off-site catering.

Students learn knife skills, sanitation, food safety and basic cooking and baking. Graduates also receive two certificates of completion from Columbia Gorge Community College: a 220-hour certificate in Food Safety and Sanitation, and a 220-hour certificate in Food Preparation.

Fresh Start accepts students age 18 and over who are unemployed or underemployed, have a desire for a culinary career, and live in the Gorge. The program aims to serve residents of Hood River and Wasco counties in Oregon, and Skamania and Klickitat counties in Washington.

Classes are held from 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday. A small stipend may be available to help with transportation or other costs associated with attendance.

Students may apply by accessing the application found at freshstartculinaryarts.org  or by calling the program for an application at 541-399-6929. Application deadline is March 20.

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