Support a new generation of culinary professionals

Metropolitan Ministries’ Culinary Arts Program prepares at-risk students in the skill of culinary arts at no cost to them. The class consists of students from three segments: aged out foster youths, clients of Metropolitan Ministries, and residential clients of Metropolitan Ministries. The culinary arts students move quickly through the 16-week course from necessary skills to advanced techniques that are the basis for creating any style of cuisine.

This allows time for 150 hours of culinary classes, 20 hours for a food handling certification course, 100 hours of high volume production experience, 100 hours of cafeteria experience, 100 hours of restaurant experience, and 40 hours for a life and employment skills course. Training in restaurant, institutional, and cafeteria cooking will prepare students for diverse job opportunities.

Students enter the program through Eckerd Family FoundationJoshua House, Triad Foundation, Starting Right, Now, Connected by 25, and the Tampa Hillsborough Homeless Initiative. Clients of Metropolitan Ministries are considered for application based on their interest in the field.

Students receive real-life, fast-paced training from our knowledgeable chefs. Upon completion, students receive a food handler certification and real-life skills and experience as a food preparer. To date, we have trained over 150 students who are employed at numerous restaurants and food service facilities in the Tampa Bay area.