Napa Valley Culinary Training Academy (copy)

Napa Valley Culinary Training Academy student with trays of meatloaf. A free lunch will be offered Wednesday 

The public is invited to a free buffet luncheon on Wednesday, Aug. 14, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Napa Salvation Army Corps Culinary Training Academy at 590 Franklin St., corner of Division Street in Napa.

The Academy’s sixth session is well underway and it hopes the community will help celebrate.

The Academy is designed for those who are dealing with addictions and other challenges and are prepared to transition to a job training program geared toward employment. It’s three goals are helping to lift people up in recovery, providing over 50,000 meals a year to hungry people in Napa and filling a critical need for trained culinary employees in the local hospitality industry.

From the inaugural class of eight students, five continue to work in the restaurant industry in the Napa Valley. The second class had eight students—seven are working today and one is continuing her education in the culinary field. Graduates are working at The Meritage Resort and Spa, Silverado Country Club, Embassy Suites, the Archer Hotel and local restaurants.

The curriculum is designed by The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) and includes lectures, meal preparation, labs, group activities and field trips. The executive chef instructor is Paul Fields, who oversees daily instruction and management. Men and women students are drawn from Serenity Homes of Napa Valley, the South Napa Shelter, Napa Emergency Women’s Services, Napa County Probation, and Salvation Army recovery programs, all of which partner with the Academy to give at-risk students a path toward job training and employment. Applicants are required to be sober for at least six months before entering, have gone through a sobriety program and be tested before starting.

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