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Inside the Box Culinary Arts Program

Posted by Nancy Olds in Social Enterprises on July 29, 2014

Program Overview:      

The Inside the Box Culinary Arts Program is funded by JPMorgan Chase; each student accepted into the program receives a full scholarship.  Classes are small, 8-10 students, for a more personalized learning experience. The Culinary Arts program is offered each quarter of the year.  The class consists of students from three segments: aged out foster youths, clients of Metropolitan Ministries, and residential clients of Metropolitan Ministries. The culinary arts students move quickly through the 16 week course from basic skills to more advanced techniques that are the basis for creating any style of cuisine.


This allows time for 150 hours of culinary classes, 20 hours for a Food Handling Certification Course, 100 hours of High Volume Production experience, 100 hours of Cafeteria experience, 100 hours of Restaurant experience, and 40 hours for a Life and Employment Skills Course. Training in restaurant, institutional, and cafeteria cooking will prepare students for diverse job opportunities. 


Some of our students can be seen working at our Inside the Box Café in Downtown Tampa and Westshore location.


The Ministries work through a partnership with the Eckerd Family Foundation, Joshua House, the Triad Foundation, Starting Right Now, Connected by 25 and the Homeless Coalition of Hillsborough County to identify aged out foster youths who would be interested in receiving culinary training and working in the field. Clients of Metropolitan Ministries, and residential clients of Metropolitan Ministries are also considered for application based on their interest in the field, as well as their level of commitment to completing the program.


Students participate in classes focused on the following Culinary Skills:


The Culinary Professional

Food Handling Certification

Equipment Identification

Raw Ingredients I

Raw Ingredients II

Raw Ingredients lll





Meats & Poultry

Fish & Shellfish

Vegetables & Starches

Restaurant Planning

Menu Planning

Life Skills

Employment Skills


And throughout this active experience, our chef instructors will develop the students’ confidence, creativity and personal style as a professional cook.  After earning their Certificate, we work with them to find a job to put those new skills to work in the Food Service industry.

By: Nancy Olds


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