National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation Offers Advanced Culinary Training to U.S. Service Members Pursuing Restaurant Careers

Quarterly training includes lectures, demonstrations and hands-on culinary activities

SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS – Monday, September 23, 2019 – Last week, the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation held its first Advanced Culinary Training Program (ACTP), a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for U.S. service members to learn from culinary masters at The Culinary Institute of America Texas campus in San Antonio.

Culinary specialists from all branches of the Armed Forces were selected to attend an intensive weeklong training program with the goal of improving U.S. service members’ culinary skills and enhance their performance in their culinary specialties. The September training is the first of an inaugural quarterly training program that will continue through 2019 and into 2020.
“ACTP is focused on ensuring our service members have access to training opportunities to hone their skills, with the ultimate hope of preparing them for transition into civilian life,” said Rob Gifford, President of the NRAEF. “With 250,000 service members separating from the U.S. military each year, it’s an integral part of our programming to set them up for success with long term careers in restaurants and foodservice. A special thank you to The Culinary Institute of America for their partnership and collaboration in creating opportunities for our service members.”
ACTP includes lectures on a variety of topics, such as cooking techniques and flavor development, kitchen exercises with knife skill drills and menu executions. The program concluded with each student preparing an assigned three course meal to present to the chefs for evaluation and feedback.

“My favorite part about this week is learning [what] I’ve never known before and working with the other branches to see how they do it differently,” said GySgt Diedre-Ann James, ACTP student currently serving in the U.S. Marine Corps. “Overall it’s been a really, really good experience.”

Through training initiatives like ACTP, the NRAEF supports active duty, guard and reserve military members, military spouses, dependent children and veterans with their transition after separating or retiring from duty. Veterans currently make up 5.4 percent of the total workforce and 2.8 percent of the restaurant industry workforce.

To learn more about the NRAEF’s work to create training opportunities for U.S. military service members, their dependents and veterans, visit

About the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation
As the philanthropic foundation of the National Restaurant Association, the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation’s mission of service to the public is dedicated to enhancing the industry’s training and education, career development and community engagement efforts. The NRAEF and its programs work to Attract, Empower and Advance today’s and tomorrow’s restaurant and foodservice workforce. NRAEF programs include: ProStart® – a high-school career and technical education program; Restaurant Ready – partnering with community based organizations to provide opportunity youth and previously incarcerated individuals with skills training and job opportunities; Military – helping military servicemen and women transition their skills to restaurant and foodservice careers; Scholarships – financial assistance for students pursuing restaurant, foodservice and hospitality degrees; and, the Hospitality Sector Registered Apprenticeship project – a partnership with the American Hotel & Lodging Association providing a hospitality apprenticeship program for the industry. For more information on the NRAEF, visit
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Jasmine Jones

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