Chef-In-Training Program

Since 2012, dozens of young adults in need have participated in our Chef-In-Training Program. We are proud to have an 86% graduation rate. 94% of all graduated interns land a sustainable job in the restaurant industry within 12 months of graduating. 3-7 years later, 71% of our CIT alumni are still working in the restaurant industry.
  • Overview

  • Bobby

  • Christina

  • Thunder

  • Adrian

  • Rafael

  • Kika

  • Shaunice

The success of our interns and mentor restaurants is reinforced by two defining features:
Wraparound Programs
We only accept applicants enrolled in reintegration/ wraparound programs. Not only does this ensure they want to be here, but they are also provided with crucial life skills support, help with transportation, access to psychiatric support, and stable housing.
Restaurant Placement
We place candidates in restaurants that match their personality and their individual needs. Every restaurant has a different pace, and a unique kitchen culture. By deliberately matching candidates to restaurants through restaurant trials, we ensure that candidates feel supported and learn at their own pace.
Our program is made possible by the donations of community members and local businesses. Watch our video to learn more!


It is thanks to donations from community members and local businesses that we are able to keep our Chef-In-Training program afloat! Thank you so much for your support. We can’t wait to make a difference with your donation.







  • Recruitment of Youth In-Need
  • Stipends Paid to the CIT interns
  • Interviews, Trial Shifts
  • In-Depth Culinary Training
  • Restaurant Placement + Orientation
  • Ongoing Mentorship and Check-ins
  • Money management and job interview workshops with Wells Fargo
  • Job Placement Support
  • Post-internship coaching
  • Insurance 
  • Securing partner restaurants
  • Headshots and Website Profiles
  • Data Collection and Analysis
  • Chef-In-Training Endowment Fund
  • Chef-In-Training Program Fundraising
  • Videos of CIT Interns


“It is hard to overstate the meaningful impact Sprouts Chef-In-Training Program has made on our interns. I can say with confidence that Sprouts is one of the most effective programs I’ve ever worked within my 5+ years of youth engagement. Our school is so grateful for their expertise and professionalism, and look forward to impacting more youth.”

– Terrance Holliday

Ralph J. Bunche High School Work Based Learning Liaison, 2016

“When you teach a young person a marketable skill, you are investing in their future so they can become the skilled, self-reliant and thoughtful leaders we need to help our communities flourish. I can’t think of a better way to invest in everyone’s future, than by investing in the training of youth to become the thoughtful leaders and productive workers of tomorrow.”

Lendri Purcell

The Jonas Family Fund, CIT Funder

“Give a young person a spatula, and support, and something exciting starts to sizzle.”

Meredith May

Feature WriterSan Francisco Chronicle, 2016

“I truly cannot think of anything more important than learning how to cook when you are young. The Chef-in-Training program is something very special.”

Alice Waters, 2016

“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.”

Miranda Lux Foundation, 2016

“By the end of my first shift, I had already made my first dish! It was such an honor!”

-Hector Ugalde
CIT Intern at alaMar Kitchen and Bar

“I remember after my first shift and the talk I had with Chef Thomas. He really made me open my eyes and think about this whole experience. I worked with more than one person every time I came, so I took away something new from everyone on the team. In my opinion, I feel I learned more about both food and life lessons. I honestly feel that my favorite part of this program was just being able to be surrounded by supportive people who actually cared. ”

-Leslia Lapota
CIT Intern at One Market Restaurant

“I was 8 years old and I was stealing cars with my friends, seeing a lot of things I shouldn’t have been seeing at my age. I’ve always been interested in food, so once I got into the internship with Sprouts, it made me [think] this is pretty cool! I get to be in a real restaurant and work with professionals. I really needed somebody to really believe in me and help me fund my Chef-in-Training Program, because this was really my only way out. I’m a young black male, and I’m trying to make it. I’m trying to find my living, I’m trying to make my way through life…I’m just trying. I’ve been through a lot…and I’m trying to make it right.”

-Mike “Mikey” Quintana

“The Sprouts Chef-in-Training Program gives back. I didn’t really have that growing up, so I wanted to make sure that once I had my own place I could do that for somebody”

-Chef Nelson German
Executive Chef/Owner of alaMar Kitchen and Bar

“My first day was enlightening. I got to watch one of the chefs prepare plates and was astonished at how at professional looking he made them.”

-Bobby Pennington
CIT at Pican

“As a volunteer for Sprouts Cooking Club I was able to experience the absolute joy of teaching our community’s next generation about healthy, sustainable, local foods. I am proud to have partnered with Sprouts to bring as many kids as possible into the kitchen. Watching them learn, grow, and enjoy good food has inspired me in my own kitchen, and I have come away from the class with my own learnings—not to mention some great new recipes!”

– Carolyn Insley

We are always looking for new candidates!



BAY: (510) 680-3614
Sprouts Locations

San Jose
San Diego
San Francisco
New York City
Headquarters: 169 11th Street, San Francisco CA 94103