external arrow pointing right logo mark logo full version logo in single color arrow pointing down \ facebook logo instagram logo twitter logo flicker logo search icon navigation expand button close

Germaine’s Kitchen and Café

At the heart of our Food Response Network is Germaine’s Kitchen and Café (GKC). GKC offers a 16-week culinary workforce development program accommodating all the different learning styles, abilities and practices of our students. We have cultivated a space that allows them to grow their skill sets and gives them confidence to reach personal goals. In addition, our students serve hot meals to neighbors in need of access to nutritious food as a part of  the Hot meals for Unhoused Neighbors initiative.

 

Our culinary workforce development program and hot meals initiative

Sustaining our community through access to fresh, job skills training and hot nutritious meals

Our culinary workforce development program

Welcome to Germaine’s Kitchen Café, a Gluten Free Culinary Arts program of Catholic Charities Oregon. Here, our program delivers a variety of essential skills helping our students and participants on a path to success in a professional kitchen or foodservice operation. Our program offers in-class instruction on the fundamentals and foundations of cooking along with the very important job/life skills and hands-on learning in just 16 weeks.

Our program is pace based to accommodate all the different learning styles, abilities and practices of our students, allowing them to grow their skill sets and giving them confidence to reach personal goals.

As a part of our program, our students prepare hot meals for our unhoused neighbors in Southeast Portland.

Hot Meals for Unhoused Neighbors is an initiative at St. Francis Dining Hall, along with other distribution sites and sanctioned camps, that focuses on food preparation and distribution efforts to feed those who are experiencing homelessness and/or food insecurity. As part of that initiative, Catholic Charities of Oregon provides approximately 1,000 meals a week for unhoused neighbors in Southeast Portland.

If you need food assistance, please contact us here.

NOW ENROLLING

Apply now for culinary training at Germaine’s Kitchen and Café!

Germaine’s offers a 16-week paced, individualized culinary training program. Students will develop job readiness and the teamwork skills needed to work in food service or a related field. The program includes hands-on training and one-on-one support in a newly-remodeled gluten-free commercial kitchen in SE Portland.

Germaine’s Kitchen and Cafe provides specialized learning opportunities for people with a range of learning abilities. Students learn skills for success at work and in the community.

Students gain the following core competencies in a professional kitchen setting:

  • Customer Service
  • Time Management
  • Personal Responsibility
  • Teamwork
  • Food Safety
  • Culinary Knowledge and Skills
  • Kitchen Math
  • Knife Skills
  • Equipment Knowledge

Classes are Tuesdays through Fridays, 9 am to 3:30 pm

Upcoming sessions:

Fall 2021: August 2, 2021 – December 2, 2021
Winter 2021: October 25, 2021-January 28, 2022.

For more information and a tour, contact Chef Jon Wirtis at jwirtis@ccoregon.org

Other Programs

Germaine's Kitchen and Café

At the heart of our Food Response Network, Germaine’s Kitchen and Café prepares and distributes hot meals for our unhoused neighbors in southeast Portland and provides a culinary training program for those in our community with their own unique barriers to employment, from experiencing intellectual and developmental disabilities to coming through rehabilitation, addiction, and other life-changing experiences. Apply now for culinary training at Germaine’s Kitchen and Café!
Articles

Welcome to Germaine’s Kitchen Café!

Posted By | Jon Wirtis
Welcome to Germaine’s Kitchen Café, a Gluten Free Culinary Arts program of Catholic Charities Oregon. Here, our program delivers a variety of essential skills helping our students and participants on a path to success in a professional kitchen or foodservice operation. Our program offers in-class instruction on the fundamentals and foundations of cooking along with…

Save First Financial Wellness: Client Success Story

Posted By | Randy Lucas, Save First Asset Program Building Manager and IDA Specialist
In August 2021, a Zomi family purchased their first home – a 5-bedroom, 3-bath house in outer SE Portland.  The road to make this dream come true wasn’t easy. Working closely alongside our Catholic Charities of Oregon and Save First Financial Wellness teams, this family embarked on a 3-year-long, sometimes arduous, path that required careful…

Donor Appreciation Spotlight: Oregon Law Foundation

Posted By | Vanessa Briseño, Chief Development & Communications Officer
We are fortunate to have extremely generous donors and volunteers who give their time, energy, support, and resources to Catholic Charities. As part of our donor and volunteer appreciation campaign, we are recognizing individuals and organizations who share God’s love and spread Christ’s light by partnering with Catholic Charities. Because of them, we can bring…

How to Help Friends and Family who are in Afghanistan

Posted By | Vanessa Briseño, Chief Development & Communications Officer
A widespread humanitarian crisis is unfolding in Afghanistan. Thousands of people who have worked as interpreters, translators, and in other capacities alongside the United States military over the past twenty years, including Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) applicants, find themselves and their families in danger. If you are looking to help family and friends who are…