A Social Purpose Food Skills Employability Program

Gather Culinary Academy is Hamilton’s first free culinary job training program for people living in poverty and
seeking to enter or re-enter the workforce in the culinary arts. This program will be led by Indwell, a local charity that creates affordable housing communities to alleviate poverty and support skill-building that leads to independence. Partnering with the City of Hamilton, Hamilton Health Sciences, and Compass Group Canada, this intensive program will provide students with the knowledge and skills necessary to become successfully employed in the culinary industry.

“... our students will be given the tools to have great impact on the community and culinary world.”
Two of my great passions are food and people, I am so excited to share these passions at Gather Culinary Academy. I truly believe our students will be given the tools to have great impact on the community and culinary world.
Chef Tyler McDonald

Dates & Location

  • September 23, 2019 – December 6, 2019
  • 205 Melvin Ave, Hamilton

Our first session is full!
Please check back for future opportunities.

Course Schedule

  • Weeks 1–2

    Students learn soft skills and receive certificate training with Ontario Works Community Navigators.

  • Weeks 3–10

    Chefs and experts from Hamilton's culinary scene share their talents with the students.

    Students receive hands-on training with Chef Tyler in the Parkdale Landing kitchen, preparing the daily meal for tenants.

    Students gain exposure and experience working on professional kitchen equipment.

    Students learn volume cooking – experience that will be useful entry to any institution.

  • Week 11

    Students practice resume writing and mock interviews.

    Students have the opportunity to move directly to paid placements.

topics covered

  • Basic knife skills
  • Commercial kitchen equipment use, maintenance, and cleaning
  • Hands-on meal preparation
  • Food safety and proper food storage
  • Kitchen time management and planning
  • Large batch recipe reading and measuring


  1. Must be currently receiving O.W. or O.D.S.P.
  2. Attend info session.
  3. Must attend and complete all training dates.
  4. Must be 18 or older. 
  5. Police clearance may be required. 
  6. ESL Level 4/5 – must be able to communicate and understand. 
  7. Must have daycare in place.

Please contact me about future sessions of Gather Culinary Academy!


We’d like to recognize the incredible partners that have come alongside Indwell to make this project happen. Key partners in the financial and practical support of the program include The City of Hamilton, Compass Group Canada, and Hamilton Health Sciences.

We need your help. There many ways that you can support this life-changing work. Please consider the following opportunities:

about us

Indwell is a Christian charity that creates affordable housing communities that support people seeking health, wellness and belonging. Our programs support more than 550 households in Hamilton, Woodstock, Simcoe, and London.

© 2019 Indwell Community Homes. Charitable registration no. 131295198RR0001.