Brigade MKE offers young people a restaurant experience

MILWAUKEE — A new culinary and hospitality arts program hopes to offer teens and young adults in Milwaukee the chance to learn new skills and find their place in the restaurant industry.

Founded by Certified Master Chef Daryl Shular, the first minority Certified Master Chef in the United States, Brigade MKE hopes to bridge the gap between Milwaukee’s youth and the local workforce.

“Students love to be tried and tested in a way that they can get that instant success right off the bat. And so, what greater opportunity than to be part of this Brigade MKE program here in Milwaukee, than to allow our students to work with some of the best chefs in the world to learn about what this industry has to offer and give them a path to doing great things in the industry,” Shular said.

Through a partnership between Prism EDC, a nonprofit focused on creating economic growth in the Sherman Park neighborhood, and Atlanta’s Shular Institute, students receive first-hand training in state-of-the-art cuisine and true global dining experiences in Milwaukee.

Through its two learning streams, the Apprenticeship Program or the Culinary Certificate Program, leaders say students can explore their interests and understand what motivates them.

“We are all born with visions and dreams. We just need someone to come alongside us and empower us, equip us and with us, remove the barriers, but then step aside. And let that dream come true in the way each individual was designed to express it,” said Bishop Walter Harvey, President Emeritus of Prism EDC.

For Sean Rush, who now lives in Atlanta, bringing the Shular Institute’s first satellite campus to his hometown is a dream come true.

Based just steps from where he grew up, Rush calls the project a passionate goal.

“Giving back is so helpful to come here to a city that needs to close the income inequality gap due to lack of education and training resources. So Milwaukee is actually the home of this tremendous workforce development,” Rush said.

All students between the ages of 14 and 22 are encouraged to apply for the program, which is preparing for its culinary bootcamp in May.

For more information on how you can get involved, go to here.

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Cecil N. Messick