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Our Kitchen Story

The Culinary Leadership Academy of Kitchen Sage is a six week course for those looking to start a career in the hospitality and food service industries. Participants study from the ServSafe Manager Textbook, 7th Edition, which is published by the National Restaurant Association; at the end of the six weeks participants take the ServSafe Manager Exam to earn this nationally-recognized credential. Hands-on skill training is done in a commercial kitchen as part of the training; additional hours to further refine skills is available in Kitchen Sage’s JobLab, which compensates participants at $9/hour. Upon completing the Culinary Leadership Academy, a paid externship is optional. Kitchen Sage assists graduates in securing long-term employment.

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Sharing wisdom around the table.

Tommy FitzGerald has been feeding the stomachs and hearts of those around him for as long as he can remember. After decades of working as a chef and caterer, he is now sharing his kitchen wisdom through an initiative he calls Kitchen Sage.

Kitchen Sage is not a place with walls. It’s a variety of resources, activities, and educational opportunities that use food to help nourish and strengthen our community. Key components of Kitchen Sage include:

• A Culinary Leadership Academy to build life skills for Grand Rapids youths, teaching budgeting, planning, teamwork, accountability, character development, resourcefulness, and leadership in a fun, food-centered atmosphere
• Resources for smart shopping, recipes and meal planning, nutrition, and the tools and techniques of the kitchen
• Opportunities for local businesses to partner and support each other
• Meaningful volunteer and mentoring roles for community members
• Career preparation skills, including ServSafe® Managerial and First Aid CPR certification

By partnering with other organizations, Kitchen Sage can impact people of all ages and stages of life.