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Our Culinary Training Program is recruiting!


For nearly 40 years, CASL’s Culinary Training Program has successfully trained and placed over 1,500 students in culinary positions. We place our student graduates in high-end establishments with employee benefits. Students of the Culinary Training Program learn Western-style culinary techniques from our accomplished Chef Instructor. Chinese-speaking students in need of vocational English are required to take a one-week Vocational English Language class before the start of the culinary training, and will thereafter be guided. Must be at least 18 years old and a Cook County resident. Total program cost are $5,530. Tuition fees are waived for qualifying low-income individuals. The Culinary Training Program is not accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting body. To file a complaint with the Illinois Board of Higher Education click HERE.

Mike’s Story…

Mike moved to the United States from Hong Kong. He lived in Chicago for several years but never realized his dream of becoming a chef. In 2018, he enrolled in CASL’s Culinary Training Program to learn the fundamentals that would land him a job in the industry and put him on a path toward his dream. Mike proved to be an exceptionally hard-working student, eager to absorb as much culinary knowledge as possible. He assisted other students, paid attention to details, and was meticulous in the presentation of his dishes. CASL’s relationship with Marriott Marquis Chicago helped him on the next leg of his journey. Upon graduation from CTP in December 2018, staff recommended Mike and he interviewed with their executive chef. He was hired as a cook, has since been made Employee of the Month, and is now on a fast track to becoming a full-fledged chef.

12-week basic culinary training and hands-on experience in Western cuisine…

Classes are from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday at the Chinese American Service League. A typical day begins with a lecture by our Culinary Instructor and includes food preparation and cooking demonstrations, hands-on kitchen skills, dynamic small-group cooking collaboration, plating and presentation, and professional as well as peer critique.

Vocational English Language (VEL) instruction and support…

Prior to the start of each Culinary Training Program cohort, students who need Vocational English Language instruction take a one-week class to learn culinary vocabulary. During each 12-week cohort, a Vocational English Language instructor remains with students for language support.

Chicago Food Service Sanitation Manager Certification…

It is mandatory that CASL’s Culinary Training Program students pass the Food Service Sanitation Manager Certification program administered by the Chicago Department of Public Health. The program teaches basic food science and proper food handling.

Case management: counseling on pre-employment, job placement, job retention…

Career counseling and workshops help jobseekers hone their skills. Our leads, referrals, and placement assistance help them secure employment. Retention support and other eligibility-based aid help individuals maintain their employment and remain on track to financial success.

Culinary Training Program Alumni Club…

The CTP Alumni Club gives all graduates the opportunity to network among themselves at meet-ups. Alumni from previous cohorts help recent graduates by sharing their experiences with successful culinary employment. Access to our CTP Alumni Club also means access to our employer partners who have on-call job opportunities paying $20-$30 per hour.