Welcome to Four New Members with the Jacques Pepin Foundation
We have a passion for food here at Catalyst Kitchens. We love its many dimensions – how it brings people together around the same table to share a meal, that it invokes creativity and curiosity in chefs new and old, and can open doors for many to a meaningful career preparing delicious food for others. In the words of Jacques Pepin, “We are all equal in the eyes of the stove.” Cooking knows no discrimination.
Jacques Pepin has a flourishing passion for food and its many facets. He began his love affair at a young age working in his family’s restaurant. He built his career over years to eventually write for the New York Times and countless food magazines, host cooking shows with famous Chef Julia Child for PBS with the Emmy-winning Julia and Jacques Cooking at Home, and has been teaching new chefs in the Culinary Arts Program at Boston University for the past 30 years.
Jacques’ career has focused on bringing the joy of cooking and the culinary arts to others, making his philanthropic venture a natural next step. The Jacques Pepin Foundation (JPF) supports community kitchens like our Catalyst Kitchens members to offer life skills and culinary training to adults with high barriers to employment. Their work revolves around opening more doors for those seeking a new career in the culinary field despite past challenges.
“We are all equal in the eyes of the stove.” - Jacques Pepin
Catalyst Kitchens and the Jacques Pepin Foundation joined forces in 2017, the foundation becoming a great supporter of member organizations through in-kind donations and fundraising efforts. For the last three years, JPF has provided small kitchen wares donations and a selection of Jacques Pepin culinary books to about half of our member network. Their generosity extends to monetary support of Catalyst Kitchens programming, contributing about $35,000 annually raised through their yearly Spring Gala held in New York City.
Last year, JPF began a new program to offer financial scholarships to organizations interested in Catalyst Kitchens membership that had small discretionary budgets. Those seeking membership and unable to meet their membership dues level are encouraged to apply for the Jacques Pepin Foundation Scholarship to offset their costs. Once a quarter, our team selects a member to receive Catalyst Kitchens membership at the flat rate of $1,500, our lowest membership dues level.
In reaction to COVID-19, we have offered our four 2020 scholarships at once to open the doors to new members in need of resources to navigate the quickly changing landscape of the foodservice and workforce development industry. This program has allowed us to open our arms a little wider to provide powerful community resources to new members navigating the changing culinary landscape through this crisis.
We are excited to welcome four new members to the network this month!
Our newest members:
Student base: underrepresented teens
Location: Tulsa, Oklahoma
Fun Fact: Stone Soup hosts pop-up pay-what-you-can community cafes throughout Tulsa – serving many at a cost accessible to them (even if that’s free).
A few words from the StoneSoup team about their program:
Since 2012, StoneSoup Community Venture has been working to increase food justice. Across the years, we have offered seed-to-table experiential learningopportunities through our program, Tulsa's Table. These learning experiences included youth instituted gardens, pay what you can cafes and community meals in a variety of locations. Our cafes offer paid learning experiences for underrepresented teens to gain job and life skill training through our food preparation and service. Today, out of a desire to address the economic injustice that many teens in our city experience, we are excited to announce our new program, Opportunity Tulsa. Through this program, teens will spend 12 weeks in paid job and life skills training in preparation for seamless placement in positions with food, beverage, and hospitality industry leaders in our area.
Like so many, Covid-19 has had an impact on our efforts to train and place youth, but we look forward to launching our training in conjunction with local partners such as Kitchen 66 and Mother Road Market. We anticipate dynamic employment opportunities for youth with community partners such as ASM Tulsa to build career development and economic security pathways of career development for our students. We are excited to be new members of Catalyst Kitchens and look forward to joining so many other wonderful efforts across the country making a difference in the lives of others!
St. Joseph Center
Student base: Low-income Adults
Location: Venice, CA
Fun Fact: St. Joseph Center offers a Guest Chef Series in their state-of-the-art 1,500 sqft teaching kitchen. Chefs from all over Los Angeles have instructed our students in their favorite recipes and techniques.
Student base: High School Juniors & Seniors
Location: Boston, MA
Fun Fact: Future Chefs employs high school juniors and seniors to work in their social enterprise called FC Delivers. They prepare ready-to-heat meals (entrée, bread, dessert and pantry item), and package them. The production takes place after school hours. The meals are delivered to the workspaces of their corporate partners.
Industrial Council Nearwest Chicago
Student base: Young Adults 16-24 from the West Side
Location: Chicago, IL
Fun Fact: Impact Culinary program was founded by American Chef Rick Bayless, known for his PBS series Mexico: One Plate at a Time. Impact Culinary aims to create the next generation of great Chicago Chefs. The culinary training program is open to Chicago young adults ages 16-24 and includes an 8-week classroom course, followed by a 4-week paid internship at a Chicagoland restaurant.
Find Our Members
Learn more about our Catalyst Kitchens members across the country with our Member Map.