Culinary Arts

Building the connections between food, career, and life-long health

We believe that food is key to well-being and an opportunity for passion to become a vocation. Our culinary department creates culinary arts education to promote habits that build lifelong health through nutrition. We see cooking as a skill that empowers young people to become independent young adults. Our youth learn about sustainability, utilizing biodegradable or recyclable products, incorporating produce from our campus gardens, and composting our green waste.

Career exploration programs include enrichment clubs for high schoolers and employment opportunities for young people aged 16 to 24, focusing on entrepreneurship and social enterprise.

The culinary department prepares and serves daily meals to the youth of the Comer Education Campus free of charge. We utilize as much GCYC-grown produce as possible in our menus and prepare nearly every menu item from scratch. In partnership with our Urban Agriculture department, we have begun creating a hyper-local food system.

We offer professional-grade catering services for events and special occasions on the Comer Education Campus. All proceeds benefit culinary and nutrition programming at the Gary Comer Youth Center. Every catering job provides an opportunity for our Culinary Apprentices to develop their skills as industry professionals. Our Culinary Apprenticeship program has been approved by the U.S. Department of Labor.

GCYC 050522 7846 Culinary
GCYC 080420 8889
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GCYC 050522 7862 Culinary
GCYC 050522 8074 Culinary
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Zion Kinnsion shares her experience and advice as a Teen Culinary Apprentice as she prepares to move on to college in the fall

Culinary Teen & Alumni Apprentices


Culinary Workers follow safe work practices and assist the Culinary Department in executing food service delivery including snacks, meal service, Gary Station, out-of-school programming, and special events.