Our Team

  • Yixi Ou

    Yixi Ou

    Generously Sponsored By:  IN NEED OF SPONSORSHIP
    Age, at time of Internship: 18
    CT Intern: Fall 2022
    Restaurant Host: Little Bee Baking, Chef Stacie
    Intern Story: When Yixi emigrated from China at age 14, her limited knowledge of English made it difficult to connect with others and feel confident speaking up. The one place Yixi trusted herself was the kitchen, where she prepared family dinners and immersed herself in foreign cultures through food.

    Yixi decided to apply her passion for food to start a health club at school and create community. Soon after, she resolved to pursue a college degree in nutrition. Eager to practice English in a professional setting and earn steady income for school expenses, Yixi applied to Sprouts Chef Training.

    Yixi would be thrilled to have your help funding her Chef Training internship at Little Bee Baking in San Francisco. Your donation helps Yixi forge a brighter career for herself.

  • Dino Smith

    Dino Smith

    Generously Sponsored By: JPMorgan Chase & Co.
    Age, at time of Internship: 18
    CT Intern: Summer 2022
    Restaurant Host: A16 – Rockridge, Chef de Cuisine Noah
    Wraparound Program: James Baldwin Academy – Seneca
    Intern Story: Dino’s passion for cooking started with a fascination for self-sufficiency and adventure. As a kid, Dino went on fishing trips with their father and learned how to cook with their grandmother and mother. These moments on the water and in the kitchen kept Dino grounded as their grandmother battled dementia and their mother struggled with substance abuse. And when Dino experienced bullying at school, cooking became a safe haven; Dino spent hours baking pastries, testing out new flavor profiles, and even creating their own barbeque sauces. 

    Eager to learn more and become financially independent, Dino applied to Sprouts’ Chef Training Program. With Sprouts A16 mentor chef, Dino will explore a career in the culinary arts. We can’t wait to see Dino leverage their passion and creativity to create happiness and financial autonomy.

    TESTIMONIALS

    • “The main reason I chose this internship was not only my passion for cooking but because of my mother. My mother passed away in January and while she struggled with addiction, which had made her give up on practically everything, the one thing she never stopped caring about was opening her own restaurant someday…working in the Chopbar and building bonds with everyone in that kitchen over the last month has made me feel closer to my mom than I ever have.”

      Chantel Brewster
      2021 Chef Training Intern at Chopbar
    • “I am proud to be a cook. I’m proud to have a job that pays medical and dental for my family. I’m proud to pay for my daughter’s Montessori school and school supplies, for our home. I’m proud every time I see my food sent out to a guest – or get a compliment from a diner. I’m proud to know my craft so well, to satisfy human’s most basic needs… I wanted to thank all of you for giving others the same chance I had to dedicate my life to something noble.”

      Chris Hey
      2013 Chef Training Intern at Locanda
    • “I remember after my first shift and the talk I had with Chef Thomas. 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
      2016 Chef Training Intern at One Market Restaurant
    • “Chef Spike along with everyone else in PlayT were very kind and accepting, teaching me that a kitchen environment is like a family.”

      Riawna Pope
      2017 Chef Training Intern at PlayT 
    • “Each day I learned new things that would only help me grow as a chef, as a person. Pican and Sprouts has made my life open to many different opportunities.”

      Bobby Pennington
      2018 Chef Training Intern at Pican
    • “Sprouts helped me get into the restaurant industry. At my internships, I started by being the pasta extruder all the way up to the hot line. I worked with lots of great people whom are still friends today. I wouldn’t be the chef I am today without them.”

      Chris Hey
      2013 Chef Training Intern at Locanda
    • “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 really needed somebody to believe in me because this was really my only way out. I’m a young black male, and I’m trying to make it. I’ve been through a lot…and I’m trying to make it right.”

      Mikey Quintana
      Chef Training intern at 25Lusk
  • Raul Rodriguez-Diaz

    Raul Rodriguez-Diaz

    Generously Sponsored By: Sysco Natural
    Age, at time of Internship: 20
    CT Intern: Summer 2022
    Restaurant Host: Cocina del Corazon, Chef Enrique
    Wraparound Program: James Baldwin Academy – Seneca
    Intern Story:

    For as long as he can remember, Raul has loved cooking. He spent hours in the kitchen making meals with his family and learned new techniques from Gordon Ramsey’s cooking shows. While he struggled to find his place and passion at school, he always felt at home in the kitchen. 

    When he applied to Sprouts, Raul joked that he was, “no Chef Boyardee,” but expressed a strong desire to become a chef one day. Raul is starting his journey to a culinary career with the Cocina del Corazon crew where he is not only building out technical skills, but learning the entrepreneurial angle of starting a restaurant.  

    After his Sprouts Chef Training internship, he plans to attend culinary school at Laney College and create a community restaurant. 

    TESTIMONIALS

    • “The main reason I chose this internship was not only my passion for cooking but because of my mother. My mother passed away in January and while she struggled with addiction, which had made her give up on practically everything, the one thing she never stopped caring about was opening her own restaurant someday…working in the Chopbar and building bonds with everyone in that kitchen over the last month has made me feel closer to my mom than I ever have.”

      Chantel Brewster
      2021 Chef Training Intern at Chopbar
    • “I am proud to be a cook. I’m proud to have a job that pays medical and dental for my family. I’m proud to pay for my daughter’s Montessori school and school supplies, for our home. I’m proud every time I see my food sent out to a guest – or get a compliment from a diner. I’m proud to know my craft so well, to satisfy human’s most basic needs… I wanted to thank all of you for giving others the same chance I had to dedicate my life to something noble.”

      Chris Hey
      2013 Chef Training Intern at Locanda
    • “I remember after my first shift and the talk I had with Chef Thomas. 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
      2016 Chef Training Intern at One Market Restaurant
    • “Chef Spike along with everyone else in PlayT were very kind and accepting, teaching me that a kitchen environment is like a family.”

      Riawna Pope
      2017 Chef Training Intern at PlayT 
    • “Each day I learned new things that would only help me grow as a chef, as a person. Pican and Sprouts has made my life open to many different opportunities.”

      Bobby Pennington
      2018 Chef Training Intern at Pican
    • “Sprouts helped me get into the restaurant industry. At my internships, I started by being the pasta extruder all the way up to the hot line. I worked with lots of great people whom are still friends today. I wouldn’t be the chef I am today without them.”

      Chris Hey
      2013 Chef Training Intern at Locanda
    • “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 really needed somebody to believe in me because this was really my only way out. I’m a young black male, and I’m trying to make it. I’ve been through a lot…and I’m trying to make it right.”

      Mikey Quintana
      Chef Training intern at 25Lusk
  • Daniela Lama

    Daniela Lama

    Generously Sponsored By: Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner
    Age, at time of Internship: 16
    CT Intern: Summer 2022
    Restaurant Host: Saison, Chef Lee
    Wraparound Program: SFUSD
    Intern Story: After her parents’ divorce, Daniela dealt with stress and struggled to feel heard in her single-parent home. Seeking an outlet, Daniela started working as a barista, where she felt a sense of community and appreciation for the first time. 

    With the support of her coworkers, the kitchen changed from an escape to a locus of career dreams for Daniela. She learned to speak through food, exercising creativity and confidence. It was then that Daniela applied to Sprouts, determined to become a professional chef. 

    With the mentorship of Chef Richard Lee and his team at Saison, Daniela has the chance to find her voice as she masters the culinary arts. We’re thrilled for her to feel the support of a kitchen family as she pursues her career dreams.

    TESTIMONIALS

    • “The main reason I chose this internship was not only my passion for cooking but because of my mother. My mother passed away in January and while she struggled with addiction, which had made her give up on practically everything, the one thing she never stopped caring about was opening her own restaurant someday…working in the Chopbar and building bonds with everyone in that kitchen over the last month has made me feel closer to my mom than I ever have.”

      Chantel Brewster
      2021 Chef Training Intern at Chopbar
    • “I am proud to be a cook. I’m proud to have a job that pays medical and dental for my family. I’m proud to pay for my daughter’s Montessori school and school supplies, for our home. I’m proud every time I see my food sent out to a guest – or get a compliment from a diner. I’m proud to know my craft so well, to satisfy human’s most basic needs… I wanted to thank all of you for giving others the same chance I had to dedicate my life to something noble.”

      Chris Hey
      2013 Chef Training Intern at Locanda
    • “I remember after my first shift and the talk I had with Chef Thomas. 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
      2016 Chef Training Intern at One Market Restaurant
    • “Chef Spike along with everyone else in PlayT were very kind and accepting, teaching me that a kitchen environment is like a family.”

      Riawna Pope
      2017 Chef Training Intern at PlayT 
    • “Each day I learned new things that would only help me grow as a chef, as a person. Pican and Sprouts has made my life open to many different opportunities.”

      Bobby Pennington
      2018 Chef Training Intern at Pican
    • “Sprouts helped me get into the restaurant industry. At my internships, I started by being the pasta extruder all the way up to the hot line. I worked with lots of great people whom are still friends today. I wouldn’t be the chef I am today without them.”

      Chris Hey
      2013 Chef Training Intern at Locanda
    • “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 really needed somebody to believe in me because this was really my only way out. I’m a young black male, and I’m trying to make it. I’ve been through a lot…and I’m trying to make it right.”

      Mikey Quintana
      Chef Training intern at 25Lusk
  • Johanna Maria Martinez Palacios

    Johanna Maria Martinez Palacios

    Generously Sponsored By: Red Boat Fish Sauce
    Age, at time of Internship: 15
    CT Intern: Summer 2022
    Restaurant Host: alaMar, Chef Juan
    Wraparound Program: OUSD
    Intern Story: Johanna’s passion for cooking started with helping their grandmother bake and decorate wedding cakes. This combination of food, art, and love helped Johanna overcome the loss of their father. It helped Johanna stay strong when they faced bullying at school.

    Johanna was so inspired by the work and the feeling of accomplishment, they started working at a pastry shop. The work was so fulfilling that Johanna applied to Sprouts’ Chef Training Program to formalize their training and pursue a long-term career in the culinary arts.

    Both Johanna and their alaMar chef mentor are excited to see where Johanna’s passion and talent will lead them.

    TESTIMONIALS

    • “The main reason I chose this internship was not only my passion for cooking but because of my mother. My mother passed away in January and while she struggled with addiction, which had made her give up on practically everything, the one thing she never stopped caring about was opening her own restaurant someday…working in the Chopbar and building bonds with everyone in that kitchen over the last month has made me feel closer to my mom than I ever have.”

      Chantel Brewster
      2021 Chef Training Intern at Chopbar
    • “I am proud to be a cook. I’m proud to have a job that pays medical and dental for my family. I’m proud to pay for my daughter’s Montessori school and school supplies, for our home. I’m proud every time I see my food sent out to a guest – or get a compliment from a diner. I’m proud to know my craft so well, to satisfy human’s most basic needs… I wanted to thank all of you for giving others the same chance I had to dedicate my life to something noble.”

      Chris Hey
      2013 Chef Training Intern at Locanda
    • “I remember after my first shift and the talk I had with Chef Thomas. 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
      2016 Chef Training Intern at One Market Restaurant
    • “Chef Spike along with everyone else in PlayT were very kind and accepting, teaching me that a kitchen environment is like a family.”

      Riawna Pope
      2017 Chef Training Intern at PlayT 
    • “Each day I learned new things that would only help me grow as a chef, as a person. Pican and Sprouts has made my life open to many different opportunities.”

      Bobby Pennington
      2018 Chef Training Intern at Pican
    • “Sprouts helped me get into the restaurant industry. At my internships, I started by being the pasta extruder all the way up to the hot line. I worked with lots of great people whom are still friends today. I wouldn’t be the chef I am today without them.”

      Chris Hey
      2013 Chef Training Intern at Locanda
    • “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 really needed somebody to believe in me because this was really my only way out. I’m a young black male, and I’m trying to make it. I’ve been through a lot…and I’m trying to make it right.”

      Mikey Quintana
      Chef Training intern at 25Lusk
  • Sandra Montejo

    Sandra Montejo

    Generously Sponsored By: Whole Foods Market
    Age, at time of Internship: 16
    CT Intern: Summer 2022
    Restaurant Host: Osito, Chef Seth
    Wraparound Program: SFUSD
    Intern Story: Growing up in an immigrant family, Sandra felt disconnected from her relatives in El Salvador and lacked basic support. Lodging and income were challenging to secure, and Sandra’s family overcame countless obstacles to make ends meet. 

    Despite the difficulties, Sandra always stayed positive and curious. Although she had limited resources, she learned how to cook and bring joy to her family. Sandra dreams of having a career that allows her to comfortably feed and support her loved ones. She is confident that the Sprouts Chef Training program will allow her to combine her love for cooking and need for financial autonomy. 

    Sandra is on her way to becoming a financially independent woman and culinary artist, thanks to the guidance of her mentor chef and culinary family at Osito SF.

    TESTIMONIALS

    • “The main reason I chose this internship was not only my passion for cooking but because of my mother. My mother passed away in January and while she struggled with addiction, which had made her give up on practically everything, the one thing she never stopped caring about was opening her own restaurant someday…working in the Chopbar and building bonds with everyone in that kitchen over the last month has made me feel closer to my mom than I ever have.”

      Chantel Brewster
      2021 Chef Training Intern at Chopbar
    • “I am proud to be a cook. I’m proud to have a job that pays medical and dental for my family. I’m proud to pay for my daughter’s Montessori school and school supplies, for our home. I’m proud every time I see my food sent out to a guest – or get a compliment from a diner. I’m proud to know my craft so well, to satisfy human’s most basic needs… I wanted to thank all of you for giving others the same chance I had to dedicate my life to something noble.”

      Chris Hey
      2013 Chef Training Intern at Locanda
    • “I remember after my first shift and the talk I had with Chef Thomas. 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
      2016 Chef Training Intern at One Market Restaurant
    • “Chef Spike along with everyone else in PlayT were very kind and accepting, teaching me that a kitchen environment is like a family.”

      Riawna Pope
      2017 Chef Training Intern at PlayT 
    • “Each day I learned new things that would only help me grow as a chef, as a person. Pican and Sprouts has made my life open to many different opportunities.”

      Bobby Pennington
      2018 Chef Training Intern at Pican
    • “Sprouts helped me get into the restaurant industry. At my internships, I started by being the pasta extruder all the way up to the hot line. I worked with lots of great people whom are still friends today. I wouldn’t be the chef I am today without them.”

      Chris Hey
      2013 Chef Training Intern at Locanda
    • “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 really needed somebody to believe in me because this was really my only way out. I’m a young black male, and I’m trying to make it. I’ve been through a lot…and I’m trying to make it right.”

      Mikey Quintana
      Chef Training intern at 25Lusk
  • Keila Lemos

    Keila Lemos

    Generously Sponsored By: Clover Sonoma
    Age, at time of Internship: 15
    CT Intern: Summer 2022
    Restaurant Host: Nopa, Chef Laurence
    Wraparound Program: SFUSD
    Intern Story: From a young age, Keila faced language and cultural barriers with courage. The Spanish she spoke at home with family couldn’t prepare her for school, where teachers spoke in English and fellow students relied on unfamiliar cultural cues. She might have turned to frustration, but instead, Keila leaned into curiosity to navigate the challenge. She took full advantage of her education, growing open-minded and trying new things. 

    Food was one of Keila’s favorite ways to connect with her classmates and explore different cultures. She was astounded by the variety of methods and dishes there were to try! She spent hours cooking with her mom, learning techniques on Youtube, and studying cookbooks. She knew she wanted to try her luck as a professional cook, and Sprouts Chef Training Program represented exactly that! 

    Keila was placed with Mentor Chef Laurence for an internship at Nopa Restaurant. In the future, she hopes her passion for learning will make her a better chef and pave the way for a fulfilling and joyful career.

    TESTIMONIALS

    • “The main reason I chose this internship was not only my passion for cooking but because of my mother. My mother passed away in January and while she struggled with addiction, which had made her give up on practically everything, the one thing she never stopped caring about was opening her own restaurant someday…working in the Chopbar and building bonds with everyone in that kitchen over the last month has made me feel closer to my mom than I ever have.”

      Chantel Brewster
      2021 Chef Training Intern at Chopbar
    • “I am proud to be a cook. I’m proud to have a job that pays medical and dental for my family. I’m proud to pay for my daughter’s Montessori school and school supplies, for our home. I’m proud every time I see my food sent out to a guest – or get a compliment from a diner. I’m proud to know my craft so well, to satisfy human’s most basic needs… I wanted to thank all of you for giving others the same chance I had to dedicate my life to something noble.”

      Chris Hey
      2013 Chef Training Intern at Locanda
    • “I remember after my first shift and the talk I had with Chef Thomas. 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
      2016 Chef Training Intern at One Market Restaurant
    • “Chef Spike along with everyone else in PlayT were very kind and accepting, teaching me that a kitchen environment is like a family.”

      Riawna Pope
      2017 Chef Training Intern at PlayT 
    • “Each day I learned new things that would only help me grow as a chef, as a person. Pican and Sprouts has made my life open to many different opportunities.”

      Bobby Pennington
      2018 Chef Training Intern at Pican
    • “Sprouts helped me get into the restaurant industry. At my internships, I started by being the pasta extruder all the way up to the hot line. I worked with lots of great people whom are still friends today. I wouldn’t be the chef I am today without them.”

      Chris Hey
      2013 Chef Training Intern at Locanda
    • “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 really needed somebody to believe in me because this was really my only way out. I’m a young black male, and I’m trying to make it. I’ve been through a lot…and I’m trying to make it right.”

      Mikey Quintana
      Chef Training intern at 25Lusk
  • Kathy Dao

    Kathy Dao

    Generously Sponsored By: Zungleboo
    Age, at time of Internship: 19
    CT Intern: Summer 2022
    Restaurant Host: Boulevard, Chef Dana
    Wraparound Program: Enterprise for Youth
    Intern Story:  Kathy grew up in the crime-ridden neighborhood of the Tenderloin in San Francisco. Her stark surroundings motivated her to be the best that she could be. She dove into schoolwork, held down multiple jobs, and helped support her family. No matter how busy she was, however, Kathy always made time for cooking with her mother and helping others around her.

    This love for the culinary arts and community inspired her to apply for Sprouts Chef Training program and pursue a career as a chef.  Sprouts Chef Mentor Dana of Boulevard is volunteering her time to guide Kathy in her culinary journey.

    Kathy plans to develop her skills and land a culinary job so that she can provide for her family and contribute meaningfully to her community.

    TESTIMONIALS

    • “The main reason I chose this internship was not only my passion for cooking but because of my mother. My mother passed away in January and while she struggled with addiction, which had made her give up on practically everything, the one thing she never stopped caring about was opening her own restaurant someday…working in the Chopbar and building bonds with everyone in that kitchen over the last month has made me feel closer to my mom than I ever have.”

      Chantel Brewster
      2021 Chef Training Intern at Chopbar
    • “I am proud to be a cook. I’m proud to have a job that pays medical and dental for my family. I’m proud to pay for my daughter’s Montessori school and school supplies, for our home. I’m proud every time I see my food sent out to a guest – or get a compliment from a diner. I’m proud to know my craft so well, to satisfy human’s most basic needs… I wanted to thank all of you for giving others the same chance I had to dedicate my life to something noble.”

      Chris Hey
      2013 Chef Training Intern at Locanda
    • “I remember after my first shift and the talk I had with Chef Thomas. 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
      2016 Chef Training Intern at One Market Restaurant
    • “Chef Spike along with everyone else in PlayT were very kind and accepting, teaching me that a kitchen environment is like a family.”

      Riawna Pope
      2017 Chef Training Intern at PlayT 
    • “Each day I learned new things that would only help me grow as a chef, as a person. Pican and Sprouts has made my life open to many different opportunities.”

      Bobby Pennington
      2018 Chef Training Intern at Pican
    • “Sprouts helped me get into the restaurant industry. At my internships, I started by being the pasta extruder all the way up to the hot line. I worked with lots of great people whom are still friends today. I wouldn’t be the chef I am today without them.”

      Chris Hey
      2013 Chef Training Intern at Locanda
    • “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 really needed somebody to believe in me because this was really my only way out. I’m a young black male, and I’m trying to make it. I’ve been through a lot…and I’m trying to make it right.”

      Mikey Quintana
      Chef Training intern at 25Lusk
  • Joy Pope

    Joy Pope

    Generously Sponsored By: Mary’s Organic Chicken
    Age, at time of Internship: 16
    CT Intern: Summer 2022
    Restaurant Host: Mago, Chef Mark
    Wraparound Program: OUSD
    Intern Story: The daughter of a cook, Joy grew up surrounded by food. But cooking meant much more to her than a job and food to eat; it was a way for Joy to overcome anxiety. With a natural penchant for cooking, Joy joined Sprouts’ Chef Training Program with the goal to get a foot in the restaurant industry and formalize her culinary techniques. She will be starting her journey to financial autonomy and a fulfilling career with Owner/ Chef Mark of Mago. Joy hopes her kitchen family will help her open up to others and learn to put herself out there. She is eager to follow in her mother’s footsteps and explore a culinary journey of her own.

    TESTIMONIALS

    • “The main reason I chose this internship was not only my passion for cooking but because of my mother. My mother passed away in January and while she struggled with addiction, which had made her give up on practically everything, the one thing she never stopped caring about was opening her own restaurant someday…working in the Chopbar and building bonds with everyone in that kitchen over the last month has made me feel closer to my mom than I ever have.”

      Chantel Brewster
      2021 Chef Training Intern at Chopbar
    • “I am proud to be a cook. I’m proud to have a job that pays medical and dental for my family. I’m proud to pay for my daughter’s Montessori school and school supplies, for our home. I’m proud every time I see my food sent out to a guest – or get a compliment from a diner. I’m proud to know my craft so well, to satisfy human’s most basic needs… I wanted to thank all of you for giving others the same chance I had to dedicate my life to something noble.”

      Chris Hey
      2013 Chef Training Intern at Locanda
    • “I remember after my first shift and the talk I had with Chef Thomas. 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
      2016 Chef Training Intern at One Market Restaurant
    • “Chef Spike along with everyone else in PlayT were very kind and accepting, teaching me that a kitchen environment is like a family.”

      Riawna Pope
      2017 Chef Training Intern at PlayT 
    • “Each day I learned new things that would only help me grow as a chef, as a person. Pican and Sprouts has made my life open to many different opportunities.”

      Bobby Pennington
      2018 Chef Training Intern at Pican
    • “Sprouts helped me get into the restaurant industry. At my internships, I started by being the pasta extruder all the way up to the hot line. I worked with lots of great people whom are still friends today. I wouldn’t be the chef I am today without them.”

      Chris Hey
      2013 Chef Training Intern at Locanda
    • “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 really needed somebody to believe in me because this was really my only way out. I’m a young black male, and I’m trying to make it. I’ve been through a lot…and I’m trying to make it right.”

      Mikey Quintana
      Chef Training intern at 25Lusk
  • Jeanna Wu

    Jeanna Wu

    Generously Sponsored By: Ben Pettigrew and Miranda Lux Foundation
    Age, at time of Internship: 16
    CIT Intern: Summer 2021
    Restaurant Host: Nopa
    Wraparound Program: San Francisco Unified School District SFUSD
    Intern’s Story: Jeanna grew up in San Francisco where she was raised by her grandmother who bonded with Jeanna and her little sister over home-cooked meals. After her grandmother’s passing, she turned to baking and cooking. With Sprouts’ Chef Training program, Jeanna is eager to gain professional experience in an art that has always inspired her. She hopes one day to have the skills and know-how needed to be able to support herself and her sister in the culinary industry. 

    TESTIMONIAL

    • “The main reason I chose this internship was not only my passion for cooking but because of my mother. My mother passed away in January and while she struggled with addiction, which had made her give up on practically everything, the one thing she never stopped caring about was opening her own restaurant someday…working in the Chopbar and building bonds with everyone in that kitchen over the last month has made me feel closer to my mom than I ever have.”

      Chantel Brewster
      2021 Chef Training Intern at Chopbar
    • “I am proud to be a cook. I’m proud to have a job that pays medical and dental for my family. I’m proud to pay for my daughter’s Montessori school and school supplies, for our home. I’m proud every time I see my food sent out to a guest – or get a compliment from a diner. I’m proud to know my craft so well, to satisfy human’s most basic needs… I wanted to thank all of you for giving others the same chance I had to dedicate my life to something noble.”

      Chris Hey
      2013 Chef Training Intern at Locanda
    • “I remember after my first shift and the talk I had with Chef Thomas. 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
      2016 Chef Training Intern at One Market Restaurant
    • “Chef Spike along with everyone else in PlayT were very kind and accepting, teaching me that a kitchen environment is like a family.”

      Riawna Pope
      2017 Chef Training Intern at PlayT 
    • “Each day I learned new things that would only help me grow as a chef, as a person. Pican and Sprouts has made my life open to many different opportunities.”

      Bobby Pennington
      2018 Chef Training Intern at Pican
    • “Sprouts helped me get into the restaurant industry. At my internships, I started by being the pasta extruder all the way up to the hot line. I worked with lots of great people whom are still friends today. I wouldn’t be the chef I am today without them.”

      Chris Hey
      2013 Chef Training Intern at Locanda
    • “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 really needed somebody to believe in me because this was really my only way out. I’m a young black male, and I’m trying to make it. I’ve been through a lot…and I’m trying to make it right.”

      Mikey Quintana
      Chef Training intern at 25Lusk