We have BIG news.
We have a brand new Casa Hope Kitchen!
From the beginning, our kitchen has been full of joy — constant singing and laughter — even when it looked more like a closet than a cooking space. It delivered incredible meals, even when our team was cooking from hot plates under the stairs.
And every morning, as the team called out, “Chicos, vamos a comer!” (students, let’s eat!) the kitchen became our gathering place. Like in many crowded, bustling homes, the kitchen has always been the heart — providing nourishment, community, and a touchstone three times a day.
When we started renovating Casa Hope, we already knew just how much the kitchen mattered.
But then our dreams started to grow. In addition to a clean, functional, joy-filled cooking space, what if the kitchen could also be a place of possibility, education, and development for our students?
We had a vision of a professional culinary institute and hospitality program that would equip students with the hands-on skills they needed to pursue their dream careers.
And then we got to work to make it happen.
The incredible design team at RDstudio, Inc. and a team of restaurant experts graciously donated their expertise to the project, drawing up plans for a professional-grade kitchen and leading us through the construction and design process.
We tore down walls, created more space, painted, and tiled.
We ordered best-in-class appliances, surfaces, and sinks.
We focused on commercial-level health and safety so the space can be used to serve the whole community — and be a jumping-off point for future professional endeavors.
And now it’s here. Ready to be filled with food and learning and incredible young people.
We are so grateful to everyone who has contributed to this project and made this vision a reality. This kitchen represents so much opportunity for our students, and in so many ways, it is still our beating heart.
In a few short weeks, members of our kitchen team will be in here singing, cooking for this year’s Fellows, and going through a pilot version of the culinary program set to officially launch in early 2021. This is only the beginning – and we cannot wait for all that comes next.