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. It all began over thirty years ago, when a Chicago police officer named Lisa Nigro founded our parent organization, Inspiration Corporation, by handing out sandwiches and coffee from the back of a little red wagon to homeless men and women. Since then, it has always been our mission to provide dignity, respect, and opportunity to Chicagoans who are too often left out in the cold.

In 2000, with the help of a group of Chicago chefs, we began training guests at our cafe in Uptown for jobs in the culinary industry. Over the years this grew into our Foodservice Training program, and in 2011 we opened Inspiration Kitchens, our restaurant and training facility. To date, we have placed graduates in over 650 jobs.

“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, Foodservice Training program graduate

When you dine at Inspiration Kitchens or book us for a catering gig, you’re supporting the men and women who are learning in our kitchens and building the foundations to overcome homelessness and poverty and build a better future.

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. Click below to learn more about our 6-week Virtual Foodservice Training Program.

Learn More


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