Start a new career with Inspiration Kitchens.
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 12-week training program is free, and you can earn both your food handler and sanitation manager certificates, and receive job placement assistance.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I enroll?
Attend one of our free orientations, Tuesdays at 1pm, at Inspiration Kitchens, 3504 W. Lake St. in Chicago.
How much does the program cost?
The program is free. Students also receive uniforms and transportation assistance to attend classes and have their certification exams paid for.
What will I learn?
You will gain hands-on experience by training in a real restaurant, making soups, salads, sandwiches, brunch items, entrees and desserts. You will learn a variety of techniques for cooking meats, vegetables, grains and pasta, and learn professional sanitation practices.
The program also includes pre-employment skills training, addressing teamwork, communication, interviewing, and resume writing.
What kinds of jobs are available?
Graduates find jobs in restaurants, cafeterias, catering businesses, deli counters and more. The state of Illinois expects to see 5,000 job openings for cooks and food preparation workers a year. People can learn on the job and advance through hard work, without having to pay for an expensive education.
How long is the program?
The program is 12 weeks long. Students are in class 6 hours each day.
Students who pass the tests will receive the Illinois Food Handlers Certificate and the City of Chicago and State of Illinois Food Service Sanitation Managers Certificates.
All graduates in good standing receive job placement assistance. Most graduates are eligible for placement in transitional jobs at Inspiration Corporation or with other employers.
What our graduates are saying
“I came here to learn about food but I learned so much more about the world.”Madeline
“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
“I saw the chefs in their chef hats, and I wanted that, but the streets were still trying to pull me in. [Inspiration Kitchens] picks you up. It may be a little program to everybody else, but it’s the world to me.”Latepa
“I never knew that they were building the foundation over there that would change my life.”Arnold
“I’ve come a long way, and while life hasn’t been easy, I’m now joyful in my heart, and I thank God for the opportunity!”Tyrone
“I want to thank Inspiration Kitchens. They lifted my spirits at a time I needed it.”Charles
“I never had a real job, so working in the kitchen gave me a work ethic. It taught me a lot of things, but mostly about life.”Antonio
“It was nothing short of sensational. Everyone embraced me, and took the time to make sure I was learning the concepts.”Tony
“I couldn’t have done it without everyone at Inspiration!”Alfia
“They set you up to be successful. They not only gave me skills, but they never let me be afraid of my ex-felon status when I was looking for work.”Phillip