Culinary Academy and Training Kitchen

Before: Cooking class in the community room

El Nido has built a learning kitchen to provide pathways to success for the next generation! We’re no longer a culinary class without a kitchen. After months and months of planning, fundraising, heaps of red-tape, and hurdles, we are now a culinary class with an AMAZING state-of-the-art kitchen. We’ve come a long way from the days of using a small portable stove!

Our culinary job training kitchen will be a crucial source of support for Pacoima, a Los Angeles community in great need. Budding chefs will learn healthy nutrition and how to prepare fresh, wholesome foods on a budget.

El Nido’s “Garden to Table” Culinary Arts classes emphasize health focus and horticulture skills, and trains clients in the culinary and business aspects of restaurant management. Classes will offer certifications for employment while students master culinary arts, kitchen hygiene and food safety.

Our Business Academy students will use the kitchen to teach youth skills in finance, marketing, product development, nutrition, and entrepreneurship, and learn business concepts through planning the launch and operation of a future community café that will serve as a job training program for youth and young adults.

At our recent Garden Gala, we celebrated the completion of our Teaching Kitchen.  Please enjoy this Behind the Scenes video, showcasing the newly completed kitchen, culinary academy, and Gala honorees, the Kaplan family, and Eddie Navarrette with FE Design and Consulting.

You were instrumental in stocking the kitchen and getting classes started!

We are honored to recognize your contribution, and hope you enjoy this glimpse into how the training kitchen is already changing lives.
The following generous donors helped make this vision a reality:

Major gifts provided by:

The Ahmanson Foundation
Annenberg Foundation
Dr. Edward Dreyfus & Barbara Dreyfus
Tom and Emily Kaplan
Max Factor Family Foundation
Michael J. Connell Foundation
Eddie Navarrette and FE Design and Consulting
Snyder Diamond
W.M. Keck Foundation

Additional donations graciously provided by:

Nancy Allen
Susie and Stuart Berton
City of Beverly Hills
Meghan and Carter Calhoun
Timothy and Lidia Castle
Linda and John Coleman
Kailey Dreyfus
Monica Fishman
Derrick S. Foy, Enterprise
Liz Herrera
Diana and Pirate Harris
Daniel Inman, Espresso Supply, Inc.
Kathryn Julian
Julie Kertes
Mike Lanz, La Marzocco USA
Desmond Lim, Charlie’s Fixtures
City of Los Angeles
Steven Ludwig
Liza Mahdavi-Bernstein
Wendel Meldrum
Steven Poretzky
Laura Rehberger
Mary Ross
Diane Sherman
Bruce Spector
Wendy Sugarman
Charles Wyatt, The Dish Factory
Karen Wells
Sandy and Ken Yamashiro
El Nido culinary training kitchen
New stove, appliances and tile floor in our nearly complete culinary training kitchen!