Culinary Arts Training Program: Manny's Story


The better part of Manny’s life has been full of uncertainty. The 51-year-old Bronx native spent over 18 years in prison, followed by years of switching between different shelters and temporary jobs to try to get back on his feet.

While Manny worked as a prep cook in prison, he never thought he would turn his cooking into an actual career. But when his case manager suggested Project Renewal’s Culinary Arts Training Program (CATP), Manny knew that it would be a good fit.

"I always loved cooking," Manny reflected during his recent CATP orientation in March 2015. He has chosen to specialize in the pastry program to expand his marketability. "When you can do both, it's an opportunity to show your skills," Manny said of seeking a culinary job with a skillset that includes both cooking and baking.

Manny is one of approximately 150 individuals who will become career-ready through Project Renewal's Culinary Arts Training Program this year. To learn more about the program, visit