Elijah’s Promise’s Promise Culinary School recruits students for local cooking programs

By: Kiarra Lyles

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ – Promise Culinary School, a division of local New Brunswick soup kitchen Elijah’s Promise, held an open house on March 9 to inform the public of its affordable, state-certified cooking programs.

Chef Armando Miranda, who is also in charge of the school’s vocational services, went over two programs that the school offers including its costs, requirements, and curriculum. He also gave a tour of the culinary school’s facilities.

The school offers a baking and pastry program and a culinary program, both of which include lectures and exams, hands-on kitchen production, field trips, and a mandatory 80-hour externship at a local restaurant, hotel, or bakery. Each class has about eight to 12 students, and job placement assistance is provided for program graduates, according to Chef Miranda.

The local school prides itself on offering affordable culinary programs. Program costs, including, the required textbooks and uniforms, range from $4,250 to $4,500, which Miranda says beats elite culinary schools with very similar curriculums that cost $20,000 to $40,000.

The Promise Baking & Pastry program runs for 24 weeks Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. This includes in-depth training on artisan bread-baking, cake decoration, and vegan, as well as gluten-free, pastries just to name a few.

The Promise Culinary Arts program is flexible, offering day and evening classes. The day option runs for nineteen weeks Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and the evening option runs 22 weeks Monday through Thursday from 5:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. The evening class is bilingual and offers instruction in Spanish. The culinary program teaches students knife skills, basic baking, catering and event planning, and more.

Promise Culinary School also provides social workers who offer mentorship and assist in life skills such as how to interview. “It’s more than just a school where you come in and pass or fail.

We try to help any way we can,” Miranda said.

Promise Culinary School offers several funding options to reduce tuitions costs for students who qualify, through the the Department of Workforce Development and the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation.

In order to be admitted to the school, you must be age 18 or older, have a minimum sixth grade reading level, and be alcohol and drug free. For more information on applying, visit elijahspromise.org or contact admissions director Jacqueline Ratliff.