Chef-in-Training Program

Sprouts Chef-in-Training program offers young adults that haven’t had it easy the opportunity to change their lives by training them to become chefs. For 6 months, they are paid to learn everything they need to know to land a sustainable job in the modern restaurant industry. They train directly alongside a local mentor chef and receive job application coaching from Wells Fargo.
Since 2012, we have had 32 apprentices enter into our program. 72% of graduated Chefs-in-Training interns have landed jobs in establishments such as Locanda, 25 Lusk, Whole Foods, and Farley Cafe. Our program is made possible by the donations of community members and local businesses.  Watch our video to learn more!
  • Overview

  • Bobby

  • Christina

  • Thunder

  • Adrian


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.








Matthew Monroe
Generously Sponsored By: Beth and David Marks
Age, at time of internship: 19
CIT Intern: 2018
Restaurant Host: PLaYT
Wraparound Program Rudsdale Continuation School
“If I put myself out there in any little way, maybe it’s cooking for someone else, maybe I’m spreading a little bit of happiness into the world.”
Matthew’s Story: After his father lost his job and two family members passed away, Matthew was unable to cope and dropped out of high school. Worried about graduation, he eventually enrolled at Rudsdale Continuation School, where he graduated in 2018! He has always enjoyed cooking and sees it as a way to connect with not only loved ones but with oneself. He believes food is one of the best ways to show others how much you love them.
Future Goals: Matthew wants to continue working in restaurants to further improve his cooking skills. He is also interested in writing and animation and is currently working on a series of works of fiction.

Kevin Sandoval
Generously Sponsored By: Miranda Lux Foundation
Age, at time of internship: 17
CIT Intern: 2018
Restaurant Host: Waterbar
Wraparound Program: El Cerrito High School
“I’ve always had trouble expressing my emotions until recently. I’ve always been a quiet kid and no one has ever been proud of me for anything. By [being] in this program, I can build a better future. I can make something to be proud of.”
Kevin’s Story: Kevin’s parents both immigrated from Mexico and worked incredibly hard to take care of Kevin and his three siblings. However, their family still struggled financially and Kevin had to start working at a young age to help support the family, which often interfered with his education. Before joining the CIT Program, Kevin had experience working in a fast-food kitchen but was struggling to get an opportunity to work in fine dining, something he knew he wanted to pursue. He is fascinated by farm to table cooking and learning more about different cooking methods.
Future Goals: Kevin knows he wants to be a chef! He would like to continue working in the culinary industry through high school and eventually work as a chef in Paris or New York!



“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 NYC : (929)-251-3359
Sprouts Locations

3206 Hannah Street
Office #1
Oakland CA 94608