Fresh Starts Culinary Academy is Homeward Bound’s flagship job-training program, serving low-income students from the community as well as Homeward Bound residents.
Students work hands-on in our kitchen learn core skills for a career in the busy culinary industry! The 10-week course also includes classroom sessions on professional development and personal finance, plus job placement support. We are now offering a $1,000 bonus to each student upon completion.
Students may apply online or download and print an application to let us know that you’re ready to get cooking! We are a 100% vaccinated workforce and all Fresh Starts Culinary Academy students must be vaccinated against COVID-19.
For questions, please contact Program Coordinator Andrew Wild by email or call 415-382-3363 x231.
Our program is a model member of Catalyst Kitchens, a nationwide affiliate group for organizations that combine culinary training with social enterprise.
Our program has been certified by the American Culinary Federation.
Fresh Starts Culinary Academy has been designed for students to build skills in two Homeward Bound kitchens with the added opportunity to work at Fresh Starts Chef Events, a series of celebrity chef dinners produced by Homeward Bound. Our team also produces Wagster Treats dog biscuits, chocolate Halo Truffles and Halo HomeMades, a sister line of jams and salsas.
Dylan Builds Career as Sous Chef
“I was in a bad spot. I was in and out of Juvenile Hall,” Dylan recalls. Then his grandparents learned about Fresh Starts Culinary Academy and suggested that he try it.
“Things clicked and life went in a different direction,” says Dylan, who has been assembling an impressive culinary resume since graduating from our training program in 2012.
Now chef de cuisine at Miller & Lux in San Francisco’s Chase Center, Dylan has worked as sous chef at Dry Creek Kitchen in Healdsburg, Picco in Larkspur and at Diavola Pizzeria & Salumeria in Geyserville. He also spent time in the kitchens of high-profile chefs like Mark Stark and Michael Chiarello of Bottega.
With a serious passion for making fresh pasta, Dylan set up a takeout pasta business from his home when the pandemic shut down restaurants. Among his ideas for the future is opening a shop providing handmade pasta for home chefs and catering.
“When I finished the Fresh Starts training, I knew that management would be one of my goals,” he adds. “At this point, I’m working to become an executive chef someday.”