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Rick Bayless to launch culinary training program

Chef Rick Bayless is starting a culinary training program geared toward high school and college-age students in Chicago’s East Garfield Park neighborhood.

The training program is being launched in conjunction with Bayless’ food business incubator, The Hatchery, where it will be held.

After paying a small fee, enrolled students will gain culinary knowledge while also learning from Bayless’ friends and colleagues, such as Grant Achatz and Stephanie Izard, who will be invited to guest-teach and potentially provide students with future internships (which are required to graduate) and jobs. Bayless hopes that the program will offer a jumping-off point for struggling youth as well as help solve the labor problem for restaurateurs in the city.

“I believe this program can help surmount two big challenges in the city—lack of cooks to fill our restaurants’ kitchens and a lack of both solid preparation and career opportunities for the youth of Chicago’s toughest neighborhoods,” Bayless said in a statement. "There’s a reason I think this program can make a difference: I can say that some of the most valuable people in our kitchens are ones that we’ve brought up from the most entry-level jobs, taught basic skills and self-respect, and seen flourish."

The program is due to launch when The Hatchery opens in the fall of 2018.

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