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Bilingual Culinary Training Program

Bilingual Culinary Training

Our bilingual (English/Spanish) culinary training program prepares low income individuals for meaningful careers in the food industry. 

Full scholarships available!


 Covers all the basic culinary skills and techniques to succeed in the industry
            *Introduction to Cooking: kitchen safety, knife skills, measuring tools and conversions,
             product identification, emulsions, vegetable cookery, egg cookery, stocks and mother sauces
            *Advanced Cooking: poultry, red meat, ground meats, pork, fish, seafood, deli foods, salads,
             baking basics and Latin American foods

Classes in food safety followed by an examination to obtain the ServSafe Food Manager Certification. The ServSafe Food Manager certification is certified by the National Restaurant Association.

Food allergy and gluten-free certificate program covering all the essential information about how to safely serve diners with special dietary needs, such as food allergies, intolerances, sensitivities, and Celiac disease. Upon successful completion, students obtain a certificate that is accredited by ANSI and that is valid for 5 years.

Prepares students to obtain and retain employment in the food service industry
            *Emotional Intelligence & Interpersonal Skills: self-awareness, goal-setting, time
             management, teamwork, communication, and conflict management
Professional Skills: career development, work ethic, resumes, job applications, and interviews

Teaches students culinary vocabulary to effectively communicate and follow instructions in their work environments. Provides access to our own English-learning app!

Workshop series that provides an introduction to the basic principles of nutrition and wellness. Students gain knowledge of how to make healthy food and lifestyle choices

Workshop series covers topics in personal finance, such as: budgeting, establishing and accessing credit, savings goals, financial recovery, and other topics that contribute to students’ ability to achieve and maintain financial stability


5 days of observing and learning in the kitchen of one of our employer partners. Students work alongside a chef and his team to learn about the daily operations and tasks in a commercial kitchen.

160 hours of a paid working and learning experience with a food industry employer in the DC, VA, and MD metropolitan area. Internships can be at restaurants, catering companies, hotels, and other establishments with commercial kitchens. Most students receive an official job offer upon completion of their hours!


Every student will graduate from the program with the following:

    • La Cocina VA Diploma
    • Certificate of Completion in Culinary Job Training Program, Northern Virginia Community College, Workforce Development Program
    • ServSafe Manager Certificate, National Restaurant Association
    • AllerTrain Manager Certificate, MenuTrinfo


Students receive job placement assistance in the food industry upon program completion. We follow graduates for 2 years, offering employment and resource support as needed along the way.

Do you have a passion for cooking and want a career in the culinary arts?


Please review our eligibility requirements before applying for our program:

  • 18 years old or older

  • Able to stand for 6-8 hours and able to lift up to 50lbs from the floor to the table

  • Unemployed or underemployed

  • Able to read, write, and comprehend the language of the course (English or Spanish)

  • Drug-free for at least 120 days before starting the program 

To apply, please review the documents below. Fill out the Application Form and Referral Form in the language you would like to take the course and email them to

Location: 1500 N Glebe Rd, Arlington, VA 22207, USA (Mount Olivet Methodist Church)


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