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Bilingual Culinary Training Program

Our 17-week bilingual (English/Spanish) culinary program prepares unemployed Hispanics for careers in the food service industry and offers employers access to better-qualified individuals.

Culinary Job Training

The culinary curriculum in food preparation and sanitation is cost free for our students and provides them with the resources they need to graduate, find jobs, and improve their lives. Food, equipment, facilities, and uniforms are available to them, as well as a ServSafe course by the National Restaurant Association covering food safety and sanitation. We build a sense of community by offering the unemployed the necessary skills and knowledge to overcome poverty themselves by obtaining a better-paying job within the food service industry. Additionally, the students in our program will make 3,000 nutritional meals as a part of their training that will be donated to low-income families with our Food Assistance Program.

English Language Training

The program includes thirteen weeks of English classes that provide language instruction contextualized for the culinary employment-related needs of our students in search of gainful employment. This unique bilingual training initiative that is such an important part of our program gives opportunities to members of the Hispanic community that they might otherwise be excluded from due to language barriers.

Career Readiness and Job Placement Assistance

The students in the program are taught an Employment Readiness Module and Life Skills Module by a bilingual social worker that emphasizes the importance of job readiness, a positive work attitude, teamwork, techinques for successful job interviewing, and resume building. It will also cover topics such as strategies for personal growth, conflict resolution, and support for disintegrating families. We address all of the challenges faced by unemployed Hispanics to encourage and uplift them on their paths to successs.


Every student will graduate from the program with the following:

  • ServSafe certification
  • Certificate of Completion from a workforce development program in the culinary arts by Northern Virginia Community College
  • A two-week internship at a local restaurant or hotel to expose them to job opportunities and put their newly acquired skills to use. Read more about our students interning at Whole Foods Market.
Location: Commercial kitchen of Mount Olivet United Methodist Church

1500 N Glebe Rd, Arlington, VA 22207, USA

Transit: 16th Street N, EB @ N Glebe Road, NS


By making a tax-deductible donation to La Cocina VA, you can:

  • Create job opportunities for unemployed members of our community
  • Facilitate access to healthier meals for our neighbors in need
  • Offer fruits and vegetables to those living in food desert neighborhoods


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