PC: Jackie Donnelly

Table of Contents

Project Feast 2.0

Culinary Apprenticeship Program

Community Events Program & the Lessons of Ubuntu

Changes in 2018

Thank you to our supporters

Project Feast video

Project Feast 2.0

With the launch of our culinary apprenticeship program and Ubuntu Street Cafe in early 2017, we accomplished major milestones we have worked towards for months. We let out a sigh of relief when we enrolled our first class of apprentices, invited new and old friends to our café's opening day, and handed our first graduates their certificates from Highline College. But with these milestones came challenges that we did not always see coming. Here are our results and lessons learned.


"This kitchen has magic powers" Iryna exclaimed at our first graduation of the re-designed Culinary Apprenticeship Program at our new training café, Ubuntu Street Café.

To open the café...

3 work parties

18 volunteers

80 volunteer hours


420 staff hours



Culinary Apprenticeship Program

PC: Matt McKnight


Project Feast’s Culinary Apprenticeship Program includes classroom instruction of topics like safe food handling and recipe writing, hands-on instruction in our commercial kitchen and on the job learning experiences through our cafe and catering programs. Graduates receive 18 credits from Highline College (local community college).

PC: Matt McKnight

PC: Merrill Images

PC: Susie Lane Photography


15 enrolled apprentices.

8 different countries.

10 graduates.


"I came to the United States almost two years ago, after long years of fear and stress. I came from a country with a different language, culture and social life.  At first I was amazed of my new life...after this period of amazement was over, I was shocked of the difficult life here and how much it took to support our family so I took the first opportunity I came across…I started to work at a restaurant and I was happy at first. But after a short while I realized that I am missing a lot of knowledge on how to deal with different types of food and recipes, and on top of that, a lack of good communication skills, language, and customer service…I lost my job there.


At that time I felt that [Project Feast] is what I really needed and this is what will pull me out of my frustration. The most important thing I learned here was how to learn from other colleagues and supervisors and how to respect people and their time and how to stay calm when stressed."

Project Feast 2017 alumna

Secured a job before graduating from the Culinary Apprenticeship Program and continues to work there.


PC: Susie Lane Photography


We learned about the challenges our refugee and immigrant apprentices face, such as basic math and english. We onboarded two volunteers to teach lessons on these skills every week for an hour. This has provided a consistent time for apprentices to practice these skills, leading to better performance in the kitchen.


PC: Susie Lane Photography

PC: Merrill Images


It is difficult to change our circumstances when opportunities remain out of reach. An apprentice shared  “when trying to change something in life there are always struggles that push us back. I fight and push myself to be in the place I want to be.” Project Feast works to support and empower refugees and immigrants who fight to breakdown these barriers.


While grilling Syrian barbeque, Iad directs “slow, slow, love, love.” For Project Feast, learning how to best support our refugee and immigrant communities is a process that takes time and care. With every cohort we work to better understand the needs of apprentices and use their input to further strengthen the program.


Our graduates....




employed in restaurants / bakeries / hospitality / airport

seeking enrolled in higher education. Project Feast helped her obtain $5000 scholarship

seeking employment and cooking on volunteer basis for community events

*3 current apprentices on track to graduate.


started food business with currently enrolled apprentice


switched to job in sewing industry



new food businesses started in 2017 by graduates of previous years. These include catering and hot sauces.

“I’m a different person today. When I was looking at myself before I didn’t know who I wanted to be and what I wanted in life...but not today. I’m a confident woman and know what my next step will be.


All of that happened and is still happening because of [Project Feast’s] support. I will always be thankful to my second family at Project Feast.”


Taghreed Ibrahim, Project Feast alumna and South Seattle College 2017 alumna for Pastry and Baking Arts


Dione Dittmar, Co-Owner & General Manager of Airways Brewing, hired a Project Feast alumna and shares


"We’re very happy to have Project Feast nearby in downtown Kent, and to have brought one of the students on as an employee in our kitchen. She came to us with a lot of enthusiasm and motivation to start her new career, and the training she received in the culinary program gave her the tools to get up to speed quickly in our restaurant. Having visited the café several times and met several of the students, I believe that the program attracts quality apprentices with rich cultural backgrounds that have a lot to offer our local hospitality industry. The student we hired has become one of the family here—she has a great work ethic, and our customers frequently comment on her positive attitude as well. I feel that the Project Feast program is a great reference for future employees because I know they’ve already been through training that comes with high expectations."


If you are a local employer interested in hiring our graduates, please contact us (hello@projectfeast.org)!



Community Events Program

PC: Avery Milo


Ubuntu; oo-boon-too

Origin: Nguni Bantu language of South Africa

Meaning: the belief in the bond of sharing that connects all humanity

More than 50 stories of ubuntu shared via our #UbuntuStartsWithU campaign and displayed at our cafe. Spreading this belief with a hope to create a ripple of human connectivity.


To date, we have facilitated over 6000 experiences centered around the cuisine of refugees and immigrants.


PC: Avery Milo


Migrating Meals

Pop Up Events

8 immigrant/refugee owned restaurants, more than 50% women-owned, visited by 127 Greater Seattle Area citizens who all experienced a new cuisine and participated in important dialogue.

240 people experienced a lunch or dinner at 9 pop-up events  that centered around our refugee or immigrant participants' cuisine.

2 of these events were for communities in need.

PC: Mo Aoun


At our annual Journey to Peace event, 100 people experienced a Native American feast ceremony, met people from different communities, and listened to life experiences of people from diverse cultural heritages.

PC: Avery Milo

PC: Avery Milo

PC: Avery Milo


Over 620 transactions in 2017 at Ubuntu Street Cafe, many including food for more than one person.


4,817 guests were fed through our revenue generating catering program in 2017.

PC: Avery Milo

PC: Avery Milo


Together, we lived the power of ubuntu.

PC: Avery Milo

PC: Avery Milo

PC: Avery Milo

PC: Avery Milo


PC: Susie Lane Photography


 2018 Changes


1. Project Feast’s Culinary Apprenticeship Program switched from a 4 month to a 5 month program in 2018. We chose to do this to provide more time for lessons, curriculum changes and to better sync with the academic calendar of our partner, Highline College. Going from 3 cohorts to 2 in a year allows our staff to take time off without jeopardizing the program.


2. This change also enabled us to become one of 4 iBEST programs at Highline. iBEST is trade based ESL. This designation ensures that we get an ESL instructor every Monday when our classroom instruction takes place. On Mondays, our apprentices are joined in the classroom by Highline students enrolled in our Food & Beverege iBEST classes.


3. When we launched this program in 2017, we saw first hand how stress, anxiety and trauma impact learning and growth. We made many changes as a result including enquiring about apprentices' support systems in the enrollment process, supporting staff through shutting down operations over the holidays, increasing staff knowledge of the impacts of trauma on learning, creating a private space for anyone who needed a short break, and through a weekly reflection and journaling time.

PC: Susie Lane Photography


PC: Mo Aoun


Project Feast Family

Thank you to everyone who has committed to ubuntu, believed in our mission, visited the café, engaged in our community events program, or donated your time and resources. We would not have reached these milestones without all of your support. We look forward to the adventures and challenges of 2018!

2017 Board of Directors

Jaqueline Garcia

Laura Neidhart

Sydney Simon

Cheryl Jenrow

Sally Zyffers


2017 Staff

Veena Prasad

Lisa Nakamura

Molly Payne

Iryna Mykhalchuck

Lauren McParland


PC: Mo Aoun





4 Culture

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Global Whole Being Fund

Harvest Foundation

Kent Downtown Partnership

Laucks Foundation

Les Dames d’Escoffier

Medina Foundation

One Family Foundation

Port of Seattle

Schwab Charitable

Seattle Foundation

United Way King County

Vanguard Charity

Adam Taylor

Alexis Steinmann

Bill Taylor

Bill & Maryjane Gasdick

Bronna Hancoff

Christine Chow

Connie Lim

Dr. Amal Fahad

Hazim Mohasen

Ishita Kapur

Jackie Donnelly

Judy DeSantis

Justin & Marika Jensen

Kara Martin

Kathleen Nacozy

Kelly Nightingale

Kevin Patnik

Logan Van Meter

Manar Fakhouri

Melanie Wyffels

Melissa Aaron

Melissa Beadle

My Tam H. Nguyen

Natalie Kotar

Rosario Carver

Sheelan Shamdeen

Skye D'Aquila

Susie Lane

Traci Harachi

Tray Gushiken

Yanzhi Zhang


Avery Milo

Big Boys Kainan

Carver Kitchen

Chateau St. Michele Winery

City of Kent

Elizabeth Ndisho

Eric Rivera

European Foods

Food Innovation Network

Francis Kamau

Global to Local

Hawa Sheikhadan

Highline College, Justin Taillon

Himalayan Café

Interfaith Community Sanctuary

Jacinta’s Apparels

Juba Restaurant and Café

King County Library System

Kitchen N Things

Laurel Boucher

Machine House Brewery

Macrina Bakery

Njambi Gishuru

Twice Sold Books

Olha Moisiuk

Pam’s Kitchen

Punjab Sweets

San Fernando’s pollos a la brasa


Soozveen Catering

Taghreed Ibrahim

Tamu Foods

UNIQUE Wines Company

Aileen Balahadia

Allen Hong

Alpa Dave

Amy & Tom Payne

Anne Phillips

Anne Stadler

*Andri Kofmehl

Angela Meyer

Barbara Payne

Brian Aher

Caitlin Wasley

Celine Rabago

Cheryl Jenrow

Cheryl Markham

Christina Barrett

Dawn Meader McCausland

Dean Sheppard

Deborah Drake

Denise Clifton

Doug Kennedy

Douglas Laudenschlager

Transit catering van

Commercial double door refrigerator

*in good working condition

In Kind Donation Wish List

To make a monetary donation, visit our website: projectfeast.org/donate

Judith Debarros

Julie Miller

Kari Milone

Katherine Banwell

Katherine McCabe

Katherine Smith

Kathleen Nacozy

Kris Lynch

Kristen Newell

Laura Neidhart

Laurian Toland

Legacy Group

LikBin Khoo

Lisa Merrill

Liza Bayless

Lori Guilfoyle

Lut Van Damme

Madeline Moy

Maria Ramirez

Mary Claire Benson

Mary Paterson



* denotes members of Project Feast Giving Community

Elizabeth Cohen

Ellen Shaman

Emma Kaplan

Erika Fardig

Estelle Broyer

Fernando Ramirez

Francis Guanco

Gail Pinczower

Gary Hallemeier

Gnocci Bar

Greg Haffner

Hakme Lee

Hawa Sheikhadan

Immad Naseer

Jaqueline Garcia

Jeanne Hoppe

Jessica Clark

Jill Lewis

Jodi Thormahlen

Joe McParland

Johnathan Hill

Melanie Wyffels

Melissa Beadle

Ming-Jun Chen

Nathan Yoffa

Noelle Evangelista

Pierre Della Nave

Real World Scholars Inc.

Rebecca Finkel

Rebecca Lanphear

Ruth Etzioni

Sally Zyffers

Sample Family Fund

Samuel Rivera

*Sandra & Todd Boedecker

Sarah Lawer

Socks for Justice, Adam Shumays

Timothy Exton

Tracy Harachi

Zoe Sonoda

 & the many anonymous donors

And we can (almost) pronounce key-wat...


P.S. if you missed our video about our philosophy, café, and apprenticeship program, check it out now!

VC: Traci Gushiken


Project Feast report 2017

By Project Feast

Project Feast report 2017

Project Feast's results and lessons learned of 2017.

  • 164
Loading comments...

More from Project Feast