By Heidi Buelow
Meet Justin Lindfors, apprenticing in The Food Shift Kitchen since March 2017. Interested and conversant on many topics, Justin is pursuing a degree in Computer Science. He had previously completed two stints at the Alameda Point Collaborative (APC) Farm2Market when he found out about Food Shift’s on-the-job kitchen training program, which had recently relocated to APC.
His kitchen skills have improved dramatically under the care, training, and tutelage of Chef Terrell, The Food Shift Kitchen’s culinary educator. “Working in the kitchen feels natural,” Justin says and he is comfortable preparing a variety of produce and cooking using different techniques, such as preparing pastas, roasting and blanching vegetables, and stir frying. “It’s only a matter of time before we start covering baking,” he grins.
Justin finds value in this hands-on experience and anticipates The Food Shift Kitchen apprenticeship will help him land a job in a restaurant or another food-related position, since “everyone either shops or eats and there will always be a need.” Even as a student, he will now be able to work in a restaurant as a side job. His resume will reflect his commercial kitchen experience and the culinary training he has received which will help tremendously when he begins applying for jobs. His newly gained confidence via The Food Shift Kitchen hands-on training will also aid his future options.
Hoping to eventually earn a PhD in Computer Science, Justin says studying abroad and learning another language is also a goal. He plans to support his education by working in restaurants around the world while continuing his studies. Justin dreams about his top five favorites: Japan, Germany, Italy, Russia, and France and has already begun learning French in college. Given his strong interest in anime, “Of course, Japan,” he says, may be his first destination. He looks forward to supporting his aspirations in computer science by working in the culinary world while learning about different cultures.
Regular volunteers in The Food Shift Kitchen say that Justin is a cheerful, hard worker and always has an interesting story to share. We all wish him well on his journey—programming and cooking his way around the world—with The Food Shift Kitchen experience as a solid foundation towards a promising future.