Kapiolani Community College offers free culinary apprenticeship training

If you work in the restaurant industry and want to advance your career, Kapiolani Community College has a free program that can help.

The Hawaii Cook Apprenticeship is a free, 20-week culinary program meant to develop the next generation of cooking professionals.

Apprentices must attend a six-hour, in-person lab class at the community college once a week for 20 weeks on the basics of cooking and enroll in four five-week online lecture courses that cover food service industry, sanitation, menu planning, and culinary nutrition, and complete 2,000 work hours under the guidance of the employer’s chef.

Once the program is completed, participants will receive a certification equivalent to a full semester of schooling, and should be able to work as a line cook.

“For the employee, the win is youʻre going to get a high-end education and culinary arts the same quality that if youʻre to attend our credit program which is nationally renowned,” said Ron Takahashi, chair of Kapiolani Community College’s Culinary Arts Program. “The win for the employer is the fact you are getting trained cooks without having to pay for that training.”

Apprentices must be current employees of local restaurants and food service establishments, at least 17 years of age with a high school diploma or equivalent, have current TB clearance and MMR innoculations and possess physical, verbal and reading abilities essential for job safety.

Current enrollment ends on June 30, and the next enrollment period begins on Oct. 2 for an apprenticeship that begins on Nov. 13.

Click here for more information, or contact culinary apprentice coordinator Marcus Fikse at marcusjt@hawaii.edu or (808) 734-9484.

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