Chittenden Regional Correctional Institution Launches Culinary Training Program

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After years of hard work, a Vermont nonprofit group is launching a culinary training program in the state’s only prison for women. This will enable women to acquire skills that they can use in the workplace once released.

The training program will take place at the Chittenden Regional Correctional Facility in South Burlington and will begin September 27 and last for 12 weeks.

“This is a course designed to teach them institutional cooking,” said Bryan Mitofsky, the prison’s food service supervisor. “That is to say large-scale cuisine, not à la carte cuisine like in a restaurant. Thus, they can find employment in other institutions such as hospitals, nursing homes or food departments. “

The program is funded by the Ministry of Justice. Part of the food prepared will be used for feeding the facility.

“But there is a program to follow that will teach them knife handling techniques and product identification,” Mitofsky said. “Just simple things about the kitchen that are culinary jargon.”

It took three years of planning for Vermont Works for Women to launch this program.

Executive Director Rhoni Basden said this would help make women more viable for employment opportunities upon release.

“They can put it on their resume and walk into a kitchen and be really ready to start this job,” Basden said.

Basden said it would give women a better understanding of nutrition

“And what they put into their bodies and how food can really be a confidence factor,” Basden said.

The program is open to all women in the establishment.

“Women apply like any of our on-site training programs,” Basden said. “They are interviewing our team at the facility.”

Basden hopes it will give women confidence as they step out of the kitchen and step into the real world.

“You can come out knowing you can do it,” Basden said. Knowing that you can continue with this job and that you can talk after you are in the kitchen.


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