Chef in Training

Chef in Training Program

“The Chef-in-Training program is something very special.” Alice Waters

Program Overview

After partnering with Jamie Oliver and his team in 2012, Sprouts founded the Chef-in-Training Internship Program in the San Francisco Bay Area, California, directly modeled after and with permission from Jamie’s Apprenticeship Program, Fifteen,  in London. We offer disadvantaged San Francisco Bay Area youth that need a long-term solution to turning their lives around by teaching them essential restaurant industry skills as they cook alongside some of the best chefs in the California Bay Area, right inside their restaurants. This internship gives young adults 16 to 24 years-old the opportunity to gain real-time, real-life, hands-on experience while receiving a stipend for their work. Chef-in-Training (CIT) Interns work two, 8-hour shifts each week, mastering skills such as pastas, starters and salads, desserts, prep, and grill. They check in weekly with a Sprouts’ advisor and their mentor chef in order to record and monitor their progress and maximize their potential in the program. Post-graduation, they receive job search coaching to increase their chances of landing a sustainable job in the restaurant industry.
So far, Sprouts has seen the successful graduation of 20 interns, and helped secure a post-internship job for 13 of these interns.


Interested in becoming an apprentice? Apply to our program!


“The Miranda Lux Foundation is thrilled to be supporting Sprouts’ Chef-in-training Program.  The exemplary vocational training program does great work to ensure that a new generation of young adults have the essential skills to land a job in the restaurant industry.”

Collaborate with and support our Chef-in-Training Program

Getting involved with our Chef-in-Training Program by:

Referring an apprentice,
Partnering with Sprouts,
Hosting an apprentice at your restaurant,
Employing an apprentice at your restaurant?


We would love to get in touch with you! Please contact about your interest!

Program Updates

Chef-in-Training Stats

Founded: 2012
Total Number of Interns Enrolled: 23
Total Number of Interns Graduated: 20
Rate of Graduation: 90%
Rate of Job Placement Post-Internship: 83%
Cost of One 6-month Internship: $2,100
Cost of CIT Stipend for 6-month Training: $1,200
Primary Program Partners: Alameda County of Education, Bunche Academy, Evergreen Lodge, James Baldwin Academy (Seneca Center), Laney College, Life Learning Academy, Metwest High School, Rudsdale High School, Youth Radio

Applicant Living Situations


  • % of applicants

Program Details

Application Submission: Candidates can submit their application at any time in the year. We review applicants on a rolling basis.
Application Review: Sprouts Team seek out applicants that  have experienced serious struggles, relay a strong need for a life change, emit a passion for cooking, and demonstrate a positive attitude and a strong work ethic.
Interview Period: Internship Interviews
Selection: Selection of interns
Trial Period: Selected candidates complete day- stages with potential mentor chefs. Chefs determine if the potential intern has the qualities needed to be successful in their kitchen.
Host Restaurant/ Mentor Chef: Interns passing the trial period are placed with mentor chefs at their respective restaurant
Sponsor Placement: Sprouts pairs each intern with a mentor or a financial sponsor, in order to add an extra layer of support during their internship.
Internship Begins: Interns start their 6-month culinary training under the direct tutelage of a Mentor chef and his culinary team. Depending on the applicant, we start them out with 1 to 3 full days a week at their host restaurant.
Progress Reports and Check-ins: Interns and the mentor chef complete progress reports, which are relayed to the interns` sponsor. The chef is in constant contact with the Chef-In-Training Director, through face-to-face check-ins and emailed progress reports.
Completion of internship program:  After having mastered each category of the internship curriculum (prep, starters/salads, pastas, meats, desserts, etc) and having passed the final progress report, Chef-in-training interns are issued their certificate of graduation! They are now ready to work with their Host chef and Internship Director  to be placed in a job within the restaurant industry!
Job Placement: After successful completion of the internship, interns are often hired on by their host restaurant or a contact from their Mentor Chef.
No previous experience in the restaurant industry is required.
  • Be 16 to 24 years old
  • 16 hours a week (at least)
  • Available the entire duration of the program
  • Live in San Francisco Bay Area, California, in stable housing (San Francisco and Oakland preferred)
  • Have access to transportation
  • Speak fluent English
  • Have a passion for food and cooking
  • Desire to be a chef
  • Demonstrate an attitude of enthusiasm, teamwork, focus, vision and determination
  • 2 rounds of interviews
  • 1 Restaurant Trial day + Chef Meeting
  • 1 Restaurant Orientation
  • 2+ days a week training in the restaurant, learning pasta, grill, butchery, fishmongery, front of house, pastry, etc
  • One week of day stages at Sprouts partner restaurant
  • Fundraising Dinner
  • A training allowance of $20/day
  • Career and Job Placement Coaching
Throughout the internship, each intern will build invaluable contacts with the head chefs, colleagues of the chefs, and partnered Sprouts restaurants to attain job opportunities upon completion of the program.

Interested in becoming an apprentice? Apply to our program!

Apprentice Profiles

Zaira Segura

Zaira is our most recent graduate! She just started her apprenticeship with us this past August at alaMar. Though she had a shaky start, Zaira quickly turned that around with her eagerness to learn and her ability to think on her feet. She impressed Executive Chef Nelson German so much that he hired her on before her internship had ended. and she is still working there today. Congratulations, Zaira, on a job well done!

Alondra Casillas

Alondra is a Summer graduate from Boulevard! Alondra was an exemplary apprentice who was of great help to Chef Dana Younkin and the entire staff at Boulevard! Congratulations, Alondra!

Christina Septien

Christina is our first Fall 2016 apprentice! She just started her apprenticeship at Boulevard in San Francisco with Chef Dana Younkin mid-October.
Christina is currently enrolled at Bunche Academy, a continuation high school, where she is recuperating units for a full year of school she had missed. During that year, she had tried to complete high school through several online programs, but was unsuccessful as she had to help support her single mother and niece. She looks forward to building up her culinary skills and experience through the next six months!

Bobby Pennington

Bobby is currently an apprentice at Picán. He started cooking with Chef Jerome “Spike” Williams  Winter of 2017 and has been mastering dessert recipes like Fried Banana Pudding and Creamy Banana Puddin’ Parfait with Pastry Chef Eduardo Manz!
Though Bobby used to skip school and hang out with the wrong crowd in his early years of high school, he has had a huge turnaround since transferring to Rudsdale Continuation School, getting almost straight A’s and becoming on track to graduate this June! Bobby has similarly persevered through family struggles, keeping a positive attitude throughout it all. We look forward to seeing Bobby progress through his apprenticeship at Picán and are proud that this apprenticeship inspired him to sign up for Pastry and Baking courses this summer at Laney College!

Questions or Inquiries? Contact the Chef-in-Training Program Manager at