Chris and Sommer Wadsworth, a couple who live in Louisiana, aren’t like any ordinary couple. He used to work 80-hour, six-day work weeks as Executive Chef at Restaurant IPO. She used to manage a food truck they owned, and worked in Special Education before that. They have six children who are between the ages of two and 12. Chris and Sommer recently started on a new chapter in their lives.
With the help of many friends and corporate sponsors, Chris and Sommer opened a not-for-profit educational facility to train at-risk and underprivileged teens in hospitality and the culinary arts called Triumph Kitchen.
Triumph Kitchen plans to mentor 15-20 students every 14 weeks via a 12-week in-house training program, followed by a two-week job placement program. Chris will teach students the culinary skills they will need to know, such as starting in the kitchen, dining room service, and the steps of an order. Sommer will serve as the program’s “life coach,” helping to build a support system for the students by teaching them basic life skills in addition to professional skills. She will show them how to create a household budget, shop and plan for healthful meals, write and build a resume, and interview for a job.
To help with funding for Triumph Kitchen, the students will sell a line of pickled products that they make fresh at the program. They will also offer catering services by manning a coffee shop where they serve coffee and beignets for free, and ask patrons to donate what they can towards the program. The cost is about $2,500 per student, every three months.\
The school has received a lot of support from local restaurants and businesses that are looking to help the program in any way possible. Local artists have helped paint murals on the walls of the building to liven up the space, along with painting the logos of sponsoring businesses in a “Louisiana fashion.” Every few months, the area will be redesigned and repainted to give the space a new look as the logos of new sponsors are added.
So far, the program has taken off with great success and the Wadsworths have received a lot of local notoriety for the good they are doing for their community. They post frequent updates on their Facebook page, and they are always looking for generous people who are able to help them further their cause.
If the work of Chris and Sommer Wadsworth is something that interests you, or if you have a passion for cooking and want to make a career out of it, let the chefs at Star Career Academy start you on the right path. Their hands-on programs will help you learn the skills that are necessary to land a job as a professional chef in the culinary industry.