Sauté runs for 8 weeks and is available year-round to Head Start parents

Sauté: Culinary job training for Head Start parents

Sauté is an in-house culinary training program available to the parents of Head Start children. Sauté helps parents become competitive in the field of culinary arts, prepare for the workforce, and build upon their strengths to reach self-sufficiency for the whole family.

Why Sauté

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, culinary training is a reliable way for people without higher education to earn a living wage because formally trained food service workers make more per capita than untrained workers.* Unfortunately, the high cost of a traditional culinary education ($40,000 per year or more) puts it well out of reach for Head Start families.

When surveyed in 2011, roughly 90% of Head Start parents and guardians showed an interest in adult education and job training. To connect parents with this training, Head Start developed the Sauté Head Start Culinary Job Training Program, which helps parents and guardians significantly increase their wage-earning potential, get stable jobs in the food service industry, improve nutrition in the home, and become self-sufficient.

Sauté has an ambitious goal: To help 90% of students get hired or promoted, in the food service industry, within three months of graduating.

 *Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2008-2009

What Parents Learn in Sauté

Graduates leave the program with 40 hours of hands-on training from the head chef and an applied knowledge of industry standards:

  • Cooking techniques including how to boil, braise, sauté, bake, and more
  • Kitchen sanitation and safety (complete with ServSafe® certification!)
  • Knife skills
  • Kitchen etiquette
  • How to plan cost-effective meals
  • Nutrition principles
  • Résumé and interviewing skills


How It Works

The Head Start Central Kitchen holds three Sauté courses per year, each with a total of 12 positions open to Head Start parents. The classes run four days per week for 8 weeks.


Sauté in Action

Café Evergreen

In 2014, Utah Community Action partnered with Salt Lake County to create the Evergreen Café in the Millcreek Recreation Center, where students serve meals to seniors and clientele of the rec center. This café is used as a practical, temporary employment program for Sauté program graduates. Sauté classes are also offered during the day through the café.


Catering Services

The Nutrition program also caters events for the general public, offering practical application for banquet serving and preparation to Sauté students. Catering services also offer a revenue source for the Central Kitchen to expand the Nutrition programs.


Head Start

Sauté participants also prepare high-quality nutritious meals for Head Start children from a menu that focuses on fresh fruits and vegetables. These nutritious meals help Head Start children prepare to enter school, just as Sauté helps their parents prepare to enter the workforce.

How to Apply

Sauté is available in Salt Lake and Tooele counties to any parent or legal guardian of a child enrolled in Head Start. To apply for Sauté, fill out our online application.


Apply now


Visit the Head Start program page to learn more or complete an application for your child.

Contact Us

To request catering for your event, please contact Avani Patel at


Evergreen Café Address

Millcreek Recreation Center
2266 E. Evergreen Ave.
Salt Lake City, UT 84109

About Sauté


The Sauté Job Training Program creates workforce development activities targeted to individuals and families with low to moderate income levels. The Sauté program helps achieve the following outcomes:

  • Provide quality adult education and job readiness training to low- moderate-income Head Start parents and guardians, including enrollment, training, and ServSafe certification according to food service industry standards.
  • Achieve a 90% hire or promotion rate for Sauté graduates in the food services industry within three months of program completion.