Our work is about more than just delicious food.


At Inspiration Kitchens we’ve always believed in using food as a vehicle to change lives. Ever since a former Chicago police officer named Lisa Nigro founded our parent organization Inspiration Corporation in 1989 by handing out sandwiches and coffee to homeless men and women from the back of a little red wagon, we’ve been in the business of providing dignity, respect, and opportunity to Chicagoans who are too often left out in the cold.

“The fact is, I enjoyed going through the program and when I got a chance to work and become independent. I was able to start my life over again…and that’s a blessing in itself.”

Jessica, Foodservice Training program graduate & Line Cook at Inspiration Kitchens


When you dine at Inspiration Kitchens or book us for a catering gig, you’re supporting men and women who are learning in our kitchens and building the foundations to overcome homelessness and poverty and build a better future. We provide our students with hands-on training in the food service industry and help them get jobs at Chicago’s hottest restaurants and catering companies.

“I saw the chefs in their chef hats, and I wanted that, but the streets were still trying to pull me in. [Inspiration Corporation] picks you up. It may be a little program to everybody else, but it’s the world to me.”

Latepa, Foodservice Training program graduate and Cook at University Center

We also provide them with the services they need to overcome obstacles like homelessness, criminal backgrounds, mental or physical disabilities, substance addictions, and mental illness.

Are you looking for work? Inspiration Kitchens helps individuals
over the age of 18 who are interested in learning to cook professionally
get the skills and experience they need to build a career in the culinary
industry. Our 13-week training program is free, and you can earn both
your food handler and sanitation manager certificates, and receive job
placement assistance.

Enroll in Job Training


In an atmosphere of dignity and respect, Inspiration Corporation helps people who are affected by homelessness and poverty to improve their lives and increase self-sufficiency through the provision of social services, employment training and placement, and housing.

Learn More