Five New Cooks-A-Cooking: IFFS Graduates 70th CJTP Class

There are many reasons to celebrate this month.

And Inter-Faith Food Shuttle is happy to share five more: Eldora, Moneek, Courtney, Samuel, and Tenysee have all graduated from our Culinary Job Training Program! It was the 70th graduation, from a program that has produced 384 graduates over the years.

These five graduates spent almost 3 months learning to chop, sauté, bake, and season all varieties of dishes. Much of the food they prepared during daily lessons was delivered to agency partners and soup kitchens to feed our neighbors in need.  They also had the opportunity to assist with IFFS’ special BBQ fundraiser, in conjunction with the NCPC’s Whole Hog Championship and the Raleigh Christmas Parade.

On Graduation Day, Dec. 18th, this class shared  their new skills with friends and family in the form of a tasty Graduation Feast! On the menu: Carolina turkey BBQ sliders, vegetable lasagna, mac & cheese, collard greens, garlicky green beans, focaccia bread, potato salad, slaw, Caesar salad, chips & dip, fruit, and lemon cake for dessert!


Meet the graduates:


Seventy percent of our graduates get jobs following our program, thereby overcoming one of hunger’s root causes – lack of income.  We are especially proud, however, when a student finds employment before graduating. This term, Moneek went above and beyond, balancing work and class.


“I would like to thank Chef Terri and Kitty for teaching me a whole lot about discipline,” Moneek said. “And also Dennis, who trained me up for the hard work.”


Sam was always first to ask what was needed, and what could he do to help. The Eagle Scout will be staying on as a Culinary Intern, where he can continue to build on his cooking skills while providing our community with good, nutritious meals.

“I look forward to working more with Chef Terri,” Sam said.



Tenysee was the spark plug of the group. She could get her classmates going, pick them up if they were down, and calm them down when they were up.  Tenysee also will return to 1001 Blair Drive, as the newest employee of Food Runner’s Collaborative!

“I want to thank everybody, especially my family, and God of course,” said Tenysee. “I’m just thankful to be here and to accomplish this mission.”



Quiet and laid back, Courtney discovered she’s a natural baker!

“Courtney’s got the touch,” said IFFS COO of Food Service & Job Training, Chef Terri Hutter. “We did bread and she kneaded it-- and it was beautiful and springy. Her pie crust, first time rolling it out, was this perfect pie crust.”

“Thank you for showing me how to cook better,” said Courtney.



Easy-going Eldora was a nice, calming influence on her peers throughout the term. She was the glue that kept everyone together.

“I want to thank Inter-Faith Food Shuttle for having this program,” said Eldora. “I want to thank all my classmates – my extended family now – and everybody here for coming and supporting us.”

If you would like to help more adults reach self-sufficiency through living-wage employment, click here to make a donation.

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About the Culinary Job Training Program:

Culinary Job Training Program promotes self-sufficiency by addressing a root cause of hunger: lack of income. The program teaches culinary skills to adults experiencing life challenges so they can gain employment in the food service industry. The eleven-week hands-on course is taught by professional chef Terri Hutter and her culinary staff, as well as a case manager who coaches participants in life skills. In addition to learning hands-on cooking techniques and ServSafe food safety procedures, students learn employment skills, stress management, and basic nutrition. You can support the program here.


By Lindsay Humbert, IFFS Digital Media Specialist. Contact: