• Two kitchens that heal

Ottawa Magazine - - CONTENTS - BY LAURA BYRNE PAQUET

“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”

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