About Our Program
Manna’s Culinary Program was established in 2014 as a way to help people gain the necessary skills to secure a job in the food service industry. Culinary Manager Heather Hinsley offers a 10-week course with teachings by guest chefs from our community. Partnerships with local resources offer services with weekly classroom presentations. The program is open to the community and Manna clients. Upon completion of the program, students receive a Certificate of Completion and their two-year CO state recognized Food Handlers Certificate. By combining cooking skills and baking skills obtained in our commercial kitchen, as well as life skills taught in our classroom, graduates are taking those next steps in life toward successful independence. Students can expect to jump start long-term employment through discipline and determination.
Jumpstart Your Career With Us
Become a Student
Our classes are small – only 8 students per class – so that we can offer the personal attention needed to help you achieve success. There are two classes each year, fall and spring. Scholarships and payment plans are available. You’ll also have the opportunity to work with local chefs and take part in exciting catering events. Contact us today to learn more about the Manna Culinary Program.
Sponsor a Student
One of Manna’s long-term goals is to help those we serve gain greater self-sufficiency. The majority of our students need assistance in paying their tuition costs. Consider sponsoring a culinary student so that they may gain the skills necessary to enter the food industry. Together, we can prepare students for the workforce and build a stronger, more vibrant economy. Tuition for one semester is $1,000, but sponsorships of any amount are greatly appreciated.
Hire a Graduate
Did you know that Manna’s staff chefs and culinary students offer catering? Call us to chat about your next event and let’s talk food. We also sell our signature chocolate chip cookies and can deliver them to your establishment. Even more, we have a several meeting spaces available for rent, equipped with food prepared by our staff and students. Schedule your next meeting with us in our beautiful culinary facility.
Changing Lives One Student at a Time
Jericho Fields graduated high school at age 15. After graduating, some tragic events sent Jericho on a quest for greater meaning. He traveled the country in search of himself and some peace of mind. Part of his travels involved the extraordinary undertaking of hiking the Colorado Trail, which landed him in Durango. By the end of his journey, he was a well-traveled and educated person who also was combating addiction and homelessness. That’s when he found Manna and met Chef McKenzie.
He entered the Manna Culinary Program in the spring of 2016 and graduated that May. As part of the Culinary Program’s offerings, he secured a job with Toshi’s – An Organic Kitchen. Jericho shares, “The program at Manna is engaging, hands-on and personable. I enjoyed the level of independence we were given halfway through the class to create our own recipes. It also felt good knowing what was coming next. From the minute I walked in the door, to the moment I left, everything was planned out, much like the real workings of a commercial kitchen. It was also fun. And learning a variety of cooking methods and styles from guest chefs made it really special.”