Fresh Starts Culinary Academy has joined College of Marin to offer a four-week course for students interested in culinary employment.

The 40-hour course gives students a glimpse of kitchen operations, offers training and practice in knife skills and recipe production, and lets them earn safe food handling certifications. Four students completed the course this week.

Students may continue to the 10-week intensive training course, which is certified by the American Culinary Federation, or take their skills directly to the job market.

The non-credit course grew from efforts by the Marin Adult Education Consortium, which brings together people from various community education programs, to create more short-term vocational learning opportunities.

“People have a misconception that because they like to eat and like to cook at home, they want to do it professionally,” says Kathy Takemoto, program outreach and support coordinator at College of Marin. “This lets them see the need for teamwork, for consistency, and know if it’s really for them.”