By Amanda Caffey SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) — November 11, 2016, more than 300 people came to Syracuse for the grand opening of a new restaurant with a new idea. Creators of With Love on North Salina Street in Syracuse, New York saw employer’s need for skilled employees, people searching for jobs and a community with a variety of cultures.
In partnership with Onondaga Community College, students take courses in food sciences then apply to work at With Love as line chefs and entrepreneurs. Instructors work with the students to teach them proper kitchen etiquette, how to run a restaurant and then help them find living wage jobs post-graduation.
Anthony Thompson has been a line chef at With Love for about a month and he has already had great hands-on experience. “You go directly into the kitchen,” Anthony said, “learn how to be an excellent line chef, you learn how to do all the culinary arts, French cuisine terms, how to cut, how to cook, how to sauté, how to clean, manage and run a kitchen.”
The restaurant is open on Tuesday and Wednesday for lunch and Thursday and Friday for dinner and the students work all four days. Steven Spanl has been a line chef at With Love since July and said that he loves this job because this is a learning experience and he can make mistakes without worrying about being fired.
“It’s not even like work because I enjoy doing it,” Spanl said. “Right down to mopping the floors at night.”
Project manager, Adam Sudmann, said that while they use locally grown food and local talent in the kitchen, they strive to embrace different cultures and they do this through the food they serve. Every six months, the restaurant closes for a few weeks and they create a new menu with cuisine from a different country.
In November of 2016, the restaurant opened serving food from Pakistan and they will be serving food from Burma for the next few weeks. Sudmann said that the restaurant environment and the conversations that food sparks is exactly the kind of community they wanted to create.
Nichole Plumley has been a waitress at With Love for a few months and she says that the people she works with and the customers who come in making this her favorite job.
Sudmann said the mission behind With Love has always been poverty alleviation and to create a space for people to come together. However, he has seen people come through the program and leave with more pride in themselves and their skills than when they started. Sudmann said these success stories are the heart behind With Love.