The OGI kitchen is the heart of our Culinary Training Program. It’s about learning, experimenting and having fun together. Although Covid-19 has changed how classes are delivered, and students can’t train with Chef Cinthia in person right now, they’re coming together to refine their cooking skills virtually.

To ensure that students continue to gain skills through the program and to best prepare them the post-Covid-19 workforce, OGI is offering live video classes in both culinary and life skills. Recently, Chef Cinthia taught a session on all aspects of eggs. She gave the class an assignment to complete at home and each student sent photos of the results. Executive Director and life skills instructor Judy Lamborn also video-instructed students on how to stay calm in a crisis and reviewed the program’s core life skills: Positive Attitude, Time Management and Decision Making.

Chef Cinthia will be teaching several special video classes in Spanish this month. Although she typically teaches in English, Chef is using the extra time out of the classroom to review every lesson the students have participated in since the beginning of the session in their native Spanish. Chef will also conduct a video class/conference with Chef Nitin (Vision Rescue in Mumbai, India) and Chefs Iulia & Julia (OGI Moldova) to review and refine curriculum for OGI’s international students. The team is also working with our locations worldwide to support students as they adjust to varying stages of quarantine.

Good News Moments: Student Check-Ins

“I feel proud and happy to belong to this team, where I have learned a variety of techniques for food preparation. Thanks to Chef Cinthia, who with her experience and patience, teaches us a variety of international dishes. She invites us to use the senses of taste, smell and textures, and to experiment with different spices, vegetables, meats and fruits. I feel much safer to start a new stage in my life. Thanks, OGI team, for giving me this opportunity! – Victoria

“OGI came into my life in very difficult times. I always had an interest in cooking, but today I am convinced that this is what I want to do. They have given a new direction to my life and a great push to a new and better future for me and my daughter. I am grateful for all the support they have given me.” – Janeth

“Since Open Gate International came into my life with these lessons, I am another person, gradually helping me to calm out my nerves, problems, and anxieties. OGI, I deeply appreciate your support because no matter my race or my limitations in English, I have had the happiness and the blessing of having met you and making me feel useful again. I see new horizons with what I have learned here. Blessings and thank you very much, OGI.” – Estela

Overall, the students are weathering this storm well, but they are eager to get back into the classroom—as are Chef Cinthia and Judy. Here’s hoping it won’t be long. Stay safe, everyone!