The Salvation Army Honors A New Class Of Chefs On Friday

Friday, November 8, 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.


Basecamp, Barley, Jack Brown’s Beer & Burger Joint, Sip, Sweet Melissa’s Billiards Make Debuts

Basecamp, 346 Frazier Ave., is a new restaurant on the Northshore that will specialize in Southern comfort food and craft beer. Hours will be 11 a.m.-midnight on weekdays and it will stay open until 1 a.m. on Friday and Saturday.   The Pub on Frazier was formerly in that location.   Barley, at 235 M.L.K., will be divided into a package store selling to-go beer ... (click for more)

Kanpai Of Tokyo Slated To Close

A longtime favorite Japanese restaurant in Chattanooga is slated to close by Father's Day or sooner, employees said they have been told. Kanpai of Toyko, featuring talented at-your-table chefs, has operated for 34 years at Hamilton Place Mall. The restaurant has over 30 employees. Workers said the property in the mall parking lot where the restaurant is located is being sold. (click for more)

Fire Destroys Commercial Building On Dodson Avenue

Chattanooga firefighters responded to a commercial fire shortly after 1 a.m. Monday.   Captain Wadie Suttles with Engine 4 said heavy smoke and flames were visible when the first of four fire companies arrived on the scene at 3019 Dodson Ave. As firefighters forced their way inside to began an interior attack, Captain Suttles called for a second alarm response to bring ... (click for more)

Bradley Detectives Investigating Death Of 18-Month-Old Child; Foul Play Not Suspected At This Time

Detectives in the Bradley County Sheriff's Criminal Investigations Division are investigating the death of an 18-month old child that occurred Saturday evening.   Multiple phone calls into the 911 Communications Center led to patrol deputies responding to a residence on Lowery Street, N.E. Upon arrival deputies discovered a deceased child inside the residence, which ... (click for more)

What We Owe Our Veterans

As our church, Warren Chapel AME Church  paid honors to the veterans and my viewing of the PBS feature,  Sunday , evening, I began to feel and think differently than before. Each year to sort of "go all out" celebrating Veteran's Day.  WE provide flags, certificates, notes of appreciation and acknowledgements.  My  brother, father and grandfather were ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Memorial Day In Just Six Seconds

John Kelly, who is now our Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, was among the greatest of all generals in United States history as a leader in the Marine Corps. In 2010 he was speaking to the Marine Corps’ Semper Fi Society in St. Louis when – towards the end of his talk – he offered what I believe is the most brilliant explanation of what Memorial Day is that I have ... (click for more)