The Salvation Army Honors A New Class Of Chefs On Friday

Friday, November 08, 2013

Graduates of The Salvation Army’s School of Culinary Arts will say, “Bon appétit,” at their graduation. Three students will graduate during a ceremony at the ReCreate Cafe at 800 McCallie Ave. at 2 p.m. on Friday.

The Chattanooga Salvation Army’s School of Culinary Arts, under the direction of Chef Terry Epps, is a life-changing, 12-week job training/internship program. Chronically homeless and low income persons learn the basic skills of food safety and meal preparation for entry into food services and re-entry into a life of worth and dignity.

The school’s mission is “teaching culinary skills, promoting self-respect, building self-sufficiency and strengthening the individual and the family.” 

The students learn food and kitchen safety and sanitation, proper use of equipment including basic knife skills, cooking theory and techniques, serving methods, kitchen operations and even environmentally friendly gardening. The program culminates with a two-week internship in a local restaurant.  Many students, however, secure employment by the time the internship phase begins and “intern” in their new jobs.

Through their lessons the students begin to impart their own style and creativity to their dishes, allowing them to move from simply making food to taking the first step toward a rewarding culinary career.

Since the first class in March 2010, 22 of 24 students have completed Culinary School classes, been “hatted” and received a certificate of accomplishment.  Moreover, 18 students found employment.  Currently, fifteen of those students still have jobs.  Two graduates, still involved in job search, are serving as volunteers in the kitchen and in special projects.  Five students who were homeless when classes began now live in permanent housing. 

While written and cooking tests throughout the semester are forms of measurement, and earning a college-level certificate is a great achievement, real results come with changed lives.  Observable changes in attitude, confidence, work ethic, personal accountability and over-and-above efforts to learn more and do more are noted by Chef Epps.

For most of their lives, his students have been told they won’t amount to anything. “I work to help them open up and bring out who they were when they were young and still had hope.”  The ability to “change their lives by changing their circumstances” must be recovered and encouraged, Mr. Epps said. 

So, basic cooking skills are learned and honed; self-esteem is built; individual creativity is encouraged; community awareness is engendered; success is rewarded; jobs are attained; lives are changed; and change has every hope of enduring.

The Salvation Army invites the public to meet the students, enjoy their culinary creations and learn more about this exciting program.


Red White And Food Announces Petition Campaign Progress

Red White and Food, the nonprofit organization that supports allowing wine sales in Tennessee’s retail food stores, announced Friday that more than 119,000 signatures have been collected statewide for the wine in retail food stores petition campaign. “It’s encouraging to see the level of enthusiasm Tennesseans have shown for the campaign,” said Red White and Food campaign ... (click for more)

Five Star Food Service Grows Partnership With Chattanooga Community Kitchen

The Five Star Food Service presented a gift of nearly $13,000 to the Chattanooga Community Kitchen, the company’s largest contribution to the organization to date. For the past four years Five Star has partnered with the Community Kitchen on its quest to feed and serve the physical, social and spiritual needs of the homeless and less fortunate in Chattanooga. Each year the employees ... (click for more)

DA Looking Into Issue Of County Commission Candidate's Campaign Sending Filled-Out Request For Absentee Ballot To Elderly Voters

The District Attorney's Office has been provided with documents that a County Commission candidate's campaign sent filled-out requests for absentee ballots to elderly voters. Kerry Steelman, election administrator, said there have been four instances in which such requests came from the Elect John Brooks campaign. He said state law says in Section 2-6-202:  (3) A person ... (click for more)

Graham Says County School-City Lawsuit Settlement "Stinks," But County Commission Approves It

The County Commission on Wednesday approved a settlement of a lawsuit brought by the Hamilton County Schools against the city of Chattanooga, though several commissioners said they were not happy with the deal and Commissioner Joe Graham said it "stinks." Commissioner Graham was the lone no vote. He was joined by Commissioner Tim Boyd in a failed effort to defer it a week. ... (click for more)

The Truth From Weston’s Sister - And Response (3)

I try not to read the negative articles and opinions about my older brother. Growing up around politics, I learned a long time ago that thick skin is not only necessary, it’s paramount. But this time, the lies and the rumors and the inaccurate information has gone too far. It’s too ridiculous for me to ignore. So let’s clear a few things up: Weston and I do not “come ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Oscar Brock’s True Passion

I don’t pay much attention to the Hamilton County School Board. Once the moon and the stars aligned behind Superintendent Rick Smith, you hear very little, if anything, from the nine-member council that oversees an annual budget of almost $400 million and employs 4,480 people. So chew this for a minute: approximately 2,000 of those people are not teachers. Yes, there are 78 principals ... (click for more)