What is Silver Fork?
Silver Fork is a 9 –12 week job training program which covers more than the basic skills required to enter and sustain careers in the culinary industry. Silver Fork apprentices study a curriculum designed around the fundamentals of leadership positions such as shift supervisors, shift leads and managers.

What exactly is studied?
Funded by the City of Chicago Department of Family and Support Services, Kraft Foods, and The kitchen curriculum includes knife skills, mother sauces, cooking techniques, food safety, spices and flavor profiles, and tips and strategies for working in professional American culinary kitchen.

The job readiness curriculum includes cultural competence, conflict resolution, banking and finance basics, time management, and tips and strategies for seeking employment.

The sanitation curriculum is taught by two certified ServSafe instructors.

What is the schedule?
Classes meet T, W, Th from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. each week. However, the first two weeks, the last week and the week spent studying for the sanitation and BASSET certificates meet four days with adjusted times.

When is the next Silver Fork class?
To set up an appointment to apply, please contact 773-472-6469 and ask for Silver Fork or

    COHORT 21, SPRING 2017
    • Orientation – April 4th and April 6th
      • Intake week – April 10th to the 14th
      • 1st Day – April 18th
      • Dining Series Tasting – June 7th
      • Dining Series June 13th and 14th
      • Graduation June 15th
    COHORT 22, FALL 2017
    • Orientation – July 11th and 13th
      • Intake week – July 17th to the 21st
      • 1st Day – July 25th
      • Dining Series Tasting – Sept. 13th
      • Dining Series – Sept. 19th and 20th
      • Graduation – Sept. 21st

How much does Silver Fork cost?
Silver Fork is FREE of charge to ALL participants.

Who can apply?
Anyone who wants to take their lives to the next level through sustained, gainful employment and is:
  • 18 years or older
  • Resident of the greater Chicagoland area
  • low income
  • member of or comfortable with the LGBTQ community
  • ready and determine to put in the work necessary to take control of their life and finances

  • FREE
  • Short term ( 9 – 12 weeks)
  • Transportation support
  • Dedicated to the dignity of all expressions of human identity including gender diverse and gender fluid
  • Background friendly and welcoming to those in reentry
  • Part of the Center on Halsted and has prioritized access to Center facilities and resources
  • Understanding of real-life concerns such as housing challenges, recovery issues, and barriers to education and
  • Multicultural and intergenerational

In addition to basic training in the culinary industry, Silver Fork apprentices also benefit from the following:
Chefs choose Silver Fork as an alternative to costly culinary degree programs because it is:
  • State of Illinois and city of Chicago Food Service Sanitation Manager tutorials and test
  • Beverage and Alcohol Sellers and Servers Education and Training (BASSET) test
  • Free admission to most Center on Halsted Community and Cultural programming
  • Professional culinary resume
  • Professional interview training

Since it started 2011, Silver Fork has graduated approximately 300 chefs with an employment success rate of 75- 80%. Silver Fork working alumni include chefs with felony backgrounds, chefs who faced unstable housing, chefs who did not finish high school, chefs in recovery, chefs who are gender fluid, gender diverse, LGBTQ and chefs of all ages and races.

The Silver Fork Head Chef is a working chef who has hands on experience in the Chicago culinary industry. The Silver Fork Case Manager provides non-crisis support. Both the Head Chef and Case Manager work with each graduate to assist in obtaining and retaining long-term, living wage employment.

For more information about the upcoming sessions or to set up an appointment to apply, please contact 773-472-6469 and ask for Silver Fork or

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