ChefStart Culinary & Job Readiness Program

Turn Your Love of Cooking into a Job that Pays with the ChefStart Program

The Social Development Commission (SDC) offers a six-week culinary and job readiness training program called ChefStart. Throughout the year, the ChefStart program prepares adults with skills to move from a cook at home to a chef in a commercial kitchen. Whether you have a dream of going into the food service or hospitality industry, you will be prepared to begin your path to culinary success.

The ChefStart Culinary and Job Readiness Training Program focuses on adults with a culinary dream who have had employment challenges, have been incarcerated, are experiencing poverty, or other circumstances resulting in difficulty finding employment. This training program gives many people the opportunity to get on a new path towards success.

ChefStart provides:

  • Job Readiness
  • Hands-on culinary workshops
  • ServSafe Certification
  • Food Safety procedures
  • Career exploration in Food Services
  • Guest Speakers
  • Proper Cutting techniques
  • Food Services Practicum

Eligibility Requirements

  • Must be 18 years of age or older
  • High school diploma or equivalency

*If you do not have a high school diploma or equivalency we can help! Check out SDC’s GED and HSED program and get on your pathway to earning your high school diploma. 

Chef John Damico

Chef John Damico

Culinary Instructor

This program is like no other. Students receive daily hands-on culinary practice as they learn basic food safety and culinary skills in an intimate setting from our culinary instructor John Damico, an experienced executive chef. We couple culinary skills with a job readiness curriculum to prepare our students for the workplace. Students learn about resume writing, interviewing, dress, telephone etiquette, the do’s and don’ts of social media and more.

Chef Michael Feker

Chef Michael Feker

ChefStart Mentor

Our unique program provides assistance with job placement and provides on-going supportive services to students. Students also get the opportunity to be mentored by restaurant owner and experienced Chef Michael Feker, owner of Il Mito, Zesti, and 2 Mesa.

CR-Social Development Commission is an Equal Opportunity Employer and Service Provider and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, political affiliation or belief. Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities. If you need this information interpreted to a language you understand or in a different format, please contact La Toya Jones, Equal Opportunity Officer, at 414-906-2823 or ljones@cr-sdc.org. Callers who are deaf or hearing or speech-impaired may reach us at Wisconsin Relay Number 711.

SDC-Main Office
1730 West North Avenue
Milwaukee, WI 53205
414.906.2700

SDC-Teutonia
6850 North Teutonia Avenue
Milwaukee, WI 53209
414.963.2684

SDC-Northwest
9155 North 76th Street
Milwaukee, WI 53223

SDC-Southside
2968 South Chase Avenue
Milwaukee, WI 53207

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