Community Learning Kitchen at Bayview YMCA

By Conway Jones

Iranian-born restaurant owner and caterer Faz Poursohi has partnered with the Bayview YMCA’s Primed & Prepped to provide students with the skills and tools to overcome the barriers to their employment by teaching financial self-sufficiency through entrepreneurship.

This Hospitality Management/Culinary Arts Mentoring and Job Training Program provides career pathways into the hospitality management/culinary arts industry, offering basic culinary knowledge and leadership training.

< p>Kelly Armstrong, program director and founder, reached out to Poursohi to support this initiative.

“He was thrilled at the opportunity to be of service to the youth of our community,” Armstrong said. “I had no clue of what pots and pans and other supplies we would need, so I called Faz. Not only did he make sure we got the top-of-the-line equipment, he hired one of our youth to work in his Oakland location.”

Faz Poursohi is giving young men of color, ages 15-17, an up close and personal look into the restaurant industry. He will be conducting cooking class demonstrations at the Bayview YMCA, giving lectures on the importance of customer service, offering field trips to his different locations and facilitating a valuable introduction into the catering business.

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