NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Promise Culinary School on Livingston Avenue hosted an “Open House” on October 29 showcasing its affordable and quality culinary education programs.

Promise Culinary School opened its doors 13 years ago as a division of Elijah’s Promise, the city-based social services organization that started as a soup kitchen.

The school offers Certificate Programs for Culinary Arts and Baking & Pastry Arts, and provides both state certification and job placement assistance.

At the Open House the attendees met Chef Pearl Thompson, the Director at Promise Culinary, and received information on the two programs including the duration, cost, requirements, and the full curriculum, as well as a tour of the kitchen and classrooms.

The requirements to apply for Promise Culinary, as listed on their website, are a minimum of 18 years of age and a sixth-grade reading level, as well as being alcohol and drug-free.

The Baking & Pastry program runs for 24 weeks, Monday through Friday, and gives students an in-depth look at the Baking and Pastry field as well as improving their culinary communication through menu planning, math classes, and workshops.

There are also day and evening culinary classes, with the day classes running for 19 weeks and the evening classes running for 22 weeks.

The culinary programs offer a look into the food service industry with training on knife skills, meat fabrication, basic baking, “Servsafe” standards, catering, quantity foods, proper food handling, event planning and more.

“Everybody wants something that’s been locally butchered or locally grown. They want to be able to touch the person that produced their food,” said Thompson.

“That’s what we teach our students, that you need to want to know where your food came from. How did it get to the table and what ethics were involved.”

Along with kitchen training, students are taught in classrooms and given exams.

“The school is a two part program. One is in the kitchen and then it’s also working off of a textbook,” said Martha Cambridge, a tutor at Promise Culinary.  “There’s a curriculum associated with it and I help with study skills and life skills.”

Promise Culinary School partners with the NJ Department of Labor and other organizations to help reduce tuition costs.

Scholarships and personal payment plans are offered to accommodate each student.

Some of the tuition assistance includes help from the Department of Workforce Development and the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation.

The school provides individualized job placement assistance to help each graduate find the best job setting from locations including five-star restaurants, hotels, bakeries, catering facilities, corporate cafeterias, nursing homes, hospitals and other hospitality establishments.

“Our objective is to get students employed in the field. It doesn’t matter where you are in your life, there’s a place for you in the field,” said Chef Thompson.