• Two kitchens that heal
“At-risk youth” is just an abstract phrase until you talk to a few. Then you learn they’re simply young adults with dreams like any other, sidelined by unfortunate situations and bad luck. At FoodWorks, a social enterprise run by Operation Come Home in the kitchen of Centretown United Church, small groups learn the basics of restaurant cooking. Perhaps more important, they find non-judgmental sounding boards and a warm community.
Right: Pie, 18, would like to work in a restaurant but eventually wants to become an actor/politician, like Arnold Schwarzenegger
Above: Chef Bruce Wood has had to adapt his teaching style for FoodWorks, as many of the youth recoil at the sound of a raised voice. “It’s changed the way that I tend to approach things”
Right: Rachel,* 22, loved FoodWorks so much that she came back to volunteer after her six-month stint ended. “I missed working with Bruce. He’s honestly one of my favourite people”