Sodexo chefs teach culinary skills to Pine Street Inn job trainees

Schools and Libraries

April 17, 2017

Since 1991, Pine Street Inn has operated a food services training program for men and women who are formerly homeless and/or underemployed. Sodexo chefs from university campuses throughout Massachusetts are volunteering time and talent to teach cooking classes to these trainees.

Chefs alternate each month from the following campuses:

Umass Boston
Lasell College
Showa Boston
Suffolk University
Dean College
EF International
Curry College

The program is a 24-week curriculum-based training model operated from Pine Street Inn's kitchen. The kitchen prepares a combined 2,600 meals each day.

In addition to instruction by Sodexo Chefs, the cooking class series brings in featured area chefs who provide a culinary demonstration to the job trainees. These include chefs from Legal Sea Foods, Flour Bakery+Café, several hotels and local eateries.

Demonstration topics are determined by the visiting chef and involves preparation of a food item and a tasting component. The chefs also share a story of how they got started and an opportunity for the trainees to ask questions.

Trainees are men and women, age 18 or older, who reside in a transitional program or are post-incarcerated and on probation. Many have a history of substance abuse, mental health issues, and criminal records.

“Many of these folks have faced challenges most of us will never know and they are working very hard as they prepare to reenter society as we know it,” said Steve Porter, district manager with Sodexo. “Their commitment and enthusiasm is both impressive and inspiring and our focus is to provide additional layers of technical skill which we hope will help them as they begin their culinary journeys.”

For information, contact Rose Forrest, Sodexo Universities Northeast Region at