The Spicy Taste of Success

We just love it when learning meets opportunity and –BAM! A career is born! After graduating from our Culinary Job Training Program (CJTP) in Sept 2011, Nathan Vanderberg, is now the proud chef and co-owner of Taste of NOLA food truck. Nathan entered CJTP on the advice of his wife Tracy, who encouraged him to transform his passion for baking (poundcakes are his specialty!) into a viable career. Through CJTP, Nathan says he learned not only kitchen skills, but ServSafe sanitation and food handling best practices, as well as how to run a business.

“I learned how to do my own thing,” said Nathan.

His “own thing” turned out to be a food truck that he and his business partner, James Obie Bolden, were able to purchase last year, enabling Nathan to transition out of part-time work into a full-time role as chef. Taste of NOLA specializes in jambalaya, gumbo, beans & rice, and—putting that passion for baking to good use— beignets! Find them on Facebook or get a menu and truck schedule at Support your local chef!

Job Opening: Catering Manager

Inter-Faith Food Shuttle currently has an opening in our Catering Program.  The purpose of Inter-Faith Food Shuttle’s not-for-profit catering program, Catering With A Cause,  is to generate revenue for funding our programs which work to end hunger in the greater Triangle.  Interested individuals should send a resume to Terri Hutter, COO Food Service/Job Training at

Catering Manager, Inter-Faith Food Shuttle

Reports to: COO Food Service/Culinary Job Training

How the catering program works:

  • Graduates are hired from our Culinary Job Training Program (CJTP)
  • Catering With A Cause serves as an extended training program for CJTP graduates to learn catering-specific skills before beginning a career in the food service industry
  • Meals are prepared in the kitchens of our headquarters and InterAct's Family Safety and Empowerment Center

Primary Duties

  • Catering sales and service
  • Start to finish customer service for catered events including menu selection, invoicing, and record keeping
  • Deliver, set up, serve, and break down events
  • Assist with food preparation as needed
  • Create menus for clients wanting custom ordered events
  • Create marketing materials for Catering With A Cause
  • Promote Catering With A Cause through social media sites, including blog posts

Additional Responsibilities

  • Represent Inter-Faith food Shuttle in the community through speaking engagements, community events, tours, fundraisers

Works closely with

  • Catering Kitchen Manager
  • Culinary Job Training Program Training Chef
  • Culinary Job Training Program Interns
  • IFFS Communications and Marketing team


  • 2 years catering or banquet service with sales and/or management experience
  • 1 year culinary experience
  • Current ServSafe certification or become certified within 90 days of hire
  • Valid NC Drivers License and clean driving record
  • Ability to lift up to 40lbs, repetitively lift 25lbs, stand for long periods, work in hot, cold and wet environment, and smile while you’re doing it
  • Ability to work evenings, weekends and holidays as needed

For more information contact or visit our website

Culinary Graduates: the end of one journey and the start of the next

A December Friday just before the holidays, spirits ran high around Inter-Faith Food Shuttle. The reason? It was graduation day for 8 students from our Culinary Job Training Program (CJTP)! With friends and family present, these eight students received their certificates of completion in what is always an emotional and triumphant ceremony, but only after their final test: preparing food for the graduation luncheon! The dishes they prepared included, among others: roasted autumn root vegetables with our farm raised peanut, hubbard, acorn & pumpkin squash with pineapple & papaya;  Creole shrimp & SC stone ground white grits with parmesan & scallions; and roasted sweet potato with fresh basil & white truffle oil. What a menu! I can tell you that it all tasted as good as it sounds!

Many students shared emotional moments with family and friends, recalling the journey they took to be standing there holding that certificate. Inter-Faith Food Shuttle works with human services agencies to recruit unemployed and underemployed individuals with severe life challenges to provide them with the training and resources necessary for a steady career in food service. One student could not be in attendance, but sent a heartfelt note to her fellow classmates, which Chef Khaleel read aloud at the ceremony. Another student chose to share the poem, “Heaven’s Grocery Store” with the class.

This 61st class of students worked extremely hard to get to graduation day. Under the tutelage of professional Chefs Terri Hutter and Khaleel Faheemud-Deen, they learned knife skills, cooking terminology, and got plenty of intensive hands-on cooking experience. They even helped cook for and serve at a catering event for 450 people at Bland Landscaping! These students are also now certified in ServSafe food safety and sanitation practices, and have been coached in professional work habits. They have honed their life skills as well, working with social worker Sharon Mitchell and two social work interns, Andre and Tayana, on how to get along with co-workers, balance life outside the kitchen, and manage stress.

Now armed with a new skill set, these students will be entering the workforce in a permanent way, embarking on their next journey - this one of steady employment and self-sufficiency. They now join the ranks of over 345 students who have graduated from the program since its inception in 1998. Believing that all deserve an opportunity to create better lives for themselves and their families, IFFS job coach Sue Jones works with students to find and maintain employment. Consistently, over 70% of the Culinary Job Training Program graduates are employed eighteen months after graduation at places like Centerplate at the Raleigh Convention Center, university dining halls, hospitals, and other local cafeterias and restaurants.

The students' time during the program is not all about self-improvement, but it is about making a difference in the lives of others as well. During their time at Inter-Faith Food Shuttle, students help feed their community, converting thousands of pounds of food from a variety of food donors into nutritious, well-balanced meals, which are then delivered to local soup kitchens, shelters, and children's programs that feed those in need. CJTP students reduce food waste by taking donated fresh produce into our commercial kitchen, cooking it into nutritious meals, and blast freezing it so that food with a limited shelf life will be available months later. We are so grateful for the contributions they have made to help end hunger in our community during their time with us, so proud of each of their journeys, and so excited to see each of them succeed!

U.S. Department of Agriculture Awards $700,000 Grant to Inter-Faith Food Shuttle to Fund Young Farmer Training Program

In a time when local farmers are aging out— even as demand for locally grown food is increasing— the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle is growing the next generation of North Carolina farmers. USDA representative Ron Brown announced the award of a $700,000 grant to fund Inter-Faith Food Shuttle’s 2-year old Young Farmers Training Program.

Culinary Job Training Program to Graduate 50th Class

The Inter-Faith Food Shuttle will hold the 50th graduation ceremony for its nine Culinary Job Training Program students on Friday, March 19 from 12:00pm-2:00pm at 1001 Blair Drive Raleigh, NC 27603. This is a milestone event for the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle and the Culinary Job Training Program. To date, 275 students have graduated and hold an employment rate of 70 percent