The Brigaid Bridge Program

The Brigaid Bridge Program offers restaurants a new opportunity to enter their promising cooks into a multi-dimensional development program. The Bridge Program is a five-month program that brings cooks from the restaurant world into the school food world to push for critical chef development: personally and professionally.

In the program, cooks that restaurants identify as strong candidates for advancement will be challenged and trained how to:

Develop menus

  • Work within USDA nutrition guidelines and prices
    • The constraints set by these rules propel a cook to maximize their creativity, resourcefulness, and ingenuity.
    • By working with ingredient and commodity prices, cooks are pushed to develop a keen business mind and an ability to think beyond a single station in the kitchen.
      • Cooks will discern which ingredients are crucial to a meal’s success and which are unnecessary to a company/restaurant’s bottom line.


Manage a staff

  • Manage the kitchen staff alongside the chef
    • Many head chefs at top-tier restaurants often realize later in their careers that it is extremely difficult to keep the kitchen staff performing at the necessary standards while maintaining morale.
    • In a school kitchen, cooks will be challenged to manage staff members, some of whom cooking is not their passion, and find the necessary motivational practices.

Interact with guests

  • Cooks will interact with a wide range of individuals, from school principals to teachers and students
  • With high quality food becoming more accessible, it is an asset to have chefs who have the people skills to be outward facing and interact with guests.

Maintain a daily log

  • The program’s structure facilitates professional and personal growth by having cooks reflect daily on numerical metrics (costs, meals served, food preference) and qualitative metrics (best practices, management struggles, and menu development).

Financials and Logistics

  • Salary
    • Brigaid matches the cook’s salary during this stretch, and the program would be offered at no additional cost to the restaurant.
  •  Housing
    • Brigaid will help chefs find housing, but housing costs will not be covered by the program.

Contribute to the revolutionary work of Brigaid and be an agent of change. The U.S. school food system is desperate for large-scale change. Brigaid is primed to deliver that change and positively affect millions of lives. Cooks who participate in the Bridge Program will be integral to this process.

To nominate a cook from your restaurant, email a short statement of intent and the cook’s resume to