Community Kitchen Academy

Jump start your career and connect with community! At Community Kitchen Academy (CKA), you will learn from professional chefs in commercial kitchens and graduate with the skills and knowledge to build a career in food service, food systems, and other related fields.

Throughout the 9-week course, you will be preparing food that has a purpose. CKA utilizes food that would otherwise be wasted—sourced from grocery stores, local farms, and businesses. The food you cook will help feed neighbors at community food shelves and meal sites.

Photo of CKA Burlington students preparing potatoes in the kitchen.
Photo of CKA Burlington students preparing potatoes in the kitchen.

CKA Highlights

  • Hands-on learning
  • National ServSafe Certification
  • Job placement support
  • Two Vermont locations: Barre and Burlington
  • Connections to community and resources
  • Plus... tuition is FREE and weekly stipends are provided for income-eligible students!  

Does CKA Get Results?

Since 2009, more than 470 students have graduated from CKA, having produced and distributed more than 930,000 meal servings. Ninety-one percent of graduates have been successful in finding employment in the culinary industry.

Upcoming Session Dates

  • August 5th – October 4th
  • January 6 to March 7, 2025
  • March 31 to May 30, 2025
  • August 4 to October 3, 2025
  • October 14 to December 12, 2024
  • January 20 to March 20, 2025
  • April 14 to June 12, 2025

What Will I Learn at Community Kitchen Academy?

During CKA, students develop culinary fundamentals and skills including:

  • Knife skills
  • Menu planning
  • Food safety and sanitation
  • Recipe comprehension and conversion
  • Culinary science and nutrition
  • Breakfast, a la carte, and banquet production
  • Basic meat handling and cooking techniques
  • Vegetable, soups, sauce, and salad basics
  • Fundamentals of baking
  • Repurposing of food that would otherwise go to waste
  • Teamwork and problem-solving
  • Time management
  • Resume writing
  • Job search strategies and planning

Ready to Apply?

What Does CKA Look Like?

Interested in Hiring a Community Kitchen Academy Graduate?

The hands-on instruction and college-level academic work required of CKA graduates makes them ideal candidates for positions in the culinary industry. Please contact to find the right employee for your business.

Photo of a Community Kitchen Academy student preparing food in the Feeding Chittenden kitchen.

CKA was a perfect opportunity for me to expand my knowledge and passion for food...I am forever grateful for the techniques, recipes, laughs and most of all friendships I've gained through this journey."

~ Rhodelene, Barre CKA graduate

Community Kitchen Academy is a statewide program of the Vermont Foodbank that has been in operation since 2009 in partnership with Feeding Chittenden in Burlington, VT and since 2013 with Capstone Community Action in Barre, VT. This program is made possible through the support of Vermont Student Assistance Corporation (VSAC), Individual Career Advancement Network (ICAN), HireAbility Vermont, Vermont Department of Labor, Vermont Association of Business Industry and Rehabilitation (VABIR), and Vermont Reach Up.