Chef-In-Training Program

​Sprouts’ Chef-In-Training Program​​ is a culinary, vocational platform that empowers underserved young women and youth of color to achieve financial independence through ​in-restaurant training and money management workshops. Since 2012, dozens of young adults have landed first-time, competitive jobs in the modern restaurant industry. In 2019, 90% of our trainees successfully graduated from our program, of which 94% landed a sustainable job in the restaurant industry. 3-7 years later, 71% of our Chef-in-Training (CIT) alumni continue to sustain themselves financially within the restaurant or hospitality industry. 


Wraparound Programs
Sprouts seeks applicants enrolled in reintegration/ wraparound programs. These wraparound programs provide each Chef-in-Training intern with additional support such as life skills training, transportation assistance, psychiatric resources, and housing programs.
Restaurant Placement
We meticulously place candidates in restaurants that match their personality and individual needs. Every restaurant has a unique pace, cuisine, and kitchen culture. Each intern’s restaurant placement is tested through a trial period before the placement is confirmed.
Financial Workshops
We partner with institutions such as Wells Fargo to teach our Chef-in-Training crucial money management skills that they will use the rest of their lives. As CITs start to generate income, they will have the tools needed to set up their first bank account, manage their money, create a budget, and save for the future. 


  • Shaunice

  • Bobby

  • Christina

  • Thunder

  • Adrian

  • Rafael

  • Kika

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 help young adults achieve financial autonomy and develop a career that they can be proud of! 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

“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

“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

“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

“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


BAY: (510) 680-3614
Sprouts Locations

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