Tarrant Area Food Bank, Culinary School of Fort Worth launch new apprenticeship program

plate of food
Apprentices accepted into the program will receive their fundamental cook certification through the American Culinary Federation. (Courtesy Tarrant Area Food Bank)

Apprentices accepted into the program will receive their fundamental cook certification through the American Culinary Federation. (Courtesy Tarrant Area Food Bank)

A new job readiness pre-apprenticeship program for adults interested in the food service industry called Fort Worx will launch April 19 in collaboration with the Tarrant Area Food Bank, Taste Project and The Culinary School of Fort Worth, according to a news release.

With support from Workforce Solutions for Tarrant County, the new 16-week program will provide training and on-the-job learning opportunities focused on the fundamentals of food preparation, the release stated. The program will be divided into two parts.

The first part will consist of eight weeks of hands-on instruction under chef instructor Joan Denton in the Tarrant Area Food Bank’s Mission Kitchen. The paid training will give apprentices the chance to work in a commercial kitchen.

After that, there will be an eight-week externship at Taste Project’s Taste Community Restaurant, a nonprofit pay-what-you-can restaurant. Apprentices will participate in a full-service restaurant environment for 24 to 32 hours per week, the release stated. They will learn food prep management, plating, ingredient sourcing, recipe development, ingredient sourcing, recipe costing, plating, menu building, service planning and management of a hotline.

“We’re excited to work alongside such influential culinary programs to encourage those in our community to learn food service and essential life skills,” said Julie Butner, president and CEO of Tarrant Area Food Bank, in the release. “This program will allow these apprentices to assist our effort to end hunger while advancing their own skills through education, training, and employment in a culinary field.”

Once the externship is completed, apprentices will get help with job placement and are eligible to continue their education in the Culinary School of Fort Worth’s apprenticeship program, sponsored by their employer.

“Fort Worx highlights how our Fort Worth community continues to come together to solve some of our toughest challenges in creative and innovative ways,” said chef Jeff Williams, founder and executive director of Taste Project, in the release. “We are excited to equip apprentices with job and life skills while also bringing them into [the] community ensuring they know they are loved and supported.”

Apprentices will be certified fundamental cooks through the American Culinary Federation once they complete the program and pass the ACF exam, the release stated.

Interested applicants can apply online at http://fortworx.org/apply. There is a mandatory information meeting and interview being offered at noon and 6 p.m. April 13 and at 6 p.m. April 14 at the Tarrant Area Food Bank, 2525 Cullen St., Fort Worth. Two forms of identification will be required to prove eligibility. This can include social security card, birth certificate, driver’s license, state ID and/or school ID if not expired.
By Sandra Sadek
Sandra Sadek covers the cities of Grapevine, Southlake and Roanoke as well as Carroll ISD for Community Impact. She graduated from Texas State University where she majored in journalism and international relations. She has experience working for several local papers including the University Star, the Katy Times, and the Fort Stockton Pioneer. When she's not on the ground reporting, she enjoys a good book and a hot drink. Follow her on social media @ssadek19.