A 3-month, paid apprenticeship program with 600 hours of culinary training.

Our curriculum, designed in consultation with our Culinary Council, ensures that our students master all of the critical skills needed to work in a restaurant kitchen.

Our students gain valuable work experience at our restaurant and at Emma’s Torch at BPL — all while receiving career readiness training and English language support.

If you are interested in applying, please read to the bottom of the page to learn about our requirements and expectations.


Program Structure

Month 1

  • Introduction to the professional American kitchen, basic knife skills, communication skills, and key culinary techniques

  • Learn to follow recipes in order to prep food for the Emma’s Torch restaurant

Month 2

  • Work every station on the line at the Emma’s Torch restaurant

  • Cater a wide range of events in-restaurant and beyond our walls Month 3

Month 3

  • Alternate as a pastry cook, barista, and cashier at Emma’s Torch at BPL

  • Practice excellent customer service while serving pastries, lunch, and coffee to the Central Library’s 1 million annual patrons


  • Design a dish for a celebratory graduation dinner

  • Get help finding a job in the food industry

Throughout the program

  • Weekly English classes focused on culinary vocabulary and interview preparation

  • Job readiness workshops, mock interviews, and mock trails with leading restaurants in NYC

  • Weekly evaluations to track progress and prepare for a long-term career



Our program is free. What’s more, we pay our students $15 / hour. This allows more students to take advantage of the opportunity and cover some expenses while they participate.

We also offer a professional chef’s knife and a full uniform to all of our students.


Who Should Apply?

  • Refugees, asylees, or survivors of human trafficking over the age of 18

  • Authorized to work in the United States

  • Willing and able to lift 25 pounds (11kg) and work for 8 hours

  • Able to follow directions and communicate in basic English

  • Have an open and flexible schedule for the entire duration of the program, including weekends and evenings.

  • Passionate about food and interested in a career in the culinary industry