Serving Up Favorites at Providence Kitchen

by | Aug 13, 2019 | #feedingopportunity | 0 comments

It’s a Tuesday morning, and Ben Barrett’s familiar warm, broad smile is welcoming customers to Providence Kitchen. Nathaniel Petrick leans over Ben’s shoulder, listening for drink orders. Double mocha. Iced grande vanilla latte. Two shots of espresso; four pumps of syrup.

Ben is a graduate of Second Harvest Food Bank’s Providence Culinary Training and is now part of the two-year residency program at the food bank’s local not-for-profit restaurants and catering company. Here, he is getting his culinary chops and building his resume both at the front of the house and the back of the house, hoping to build a career in the hospitality industry.

“What would you recommend?” a customer asks Ben.

“Everything,” he says, earnestly, smiling.

Like Ben, staff members at Providence Kitchen and across town at Providence Restaurant & Catering are graduates of the 13-week culinary school at Second Harvest. At Providence Restaurant, residents have the opportunity to work in a fine-dining kitchen, creating beautifully plated farm-to-fork cuisine. Here at Providence Kitchen, they can round out their skills learning everything from the grill to barista service, giving them real-world experience that increases employability and is the reason why nearly all of Winston-Salem’s favorite local restaurants have a few graduates from the Providence family in their ranks.

All morning, the team at Providence Kitchen has been making biscuits, southern style frittatas, and their incredibly delicious pop-over style pancakes. But the breakfast crowd has thinned, and everyone is busy chopping lettuces and tomatoes, washing sprouts, cooking up a pot of farro, and preparing for lunch. It seems like a good time to ask them what they would recommend on the menu.

“Definitely the Smoked Turkey and Gruyere Panini,” says Nathaniel. “I eat it…well… a lot.”

Dianah Bethel is working the grill, skillfully lifting eggs with the spatula and sliding them down onto a biscuit. “The Providence Panini… pimento cheese and fried green tomatoes… I have it every day for lunch.”

“The simple Biscuits with Gravy,” says Kemphas Smith, as he chops fresh vegetables from Fair Share Farms, one of Providence’s local farm partners. “I was born and raised on that. Now I get to cook it here.”

“What’s good? Anything with the chicken breast, because I cook it,” says Anthony Conrad. “I use fresh herbs: Basil, sage, and thyme. It’s real.”

Everything on the menu at Providence Kitchen comes recommended by someone here and is served up for a good cause. Both Providence Kitchen and Providence Restaurant are programs of Second Harvest Food Bank, and are a part of the organization’s look beyond its core mission of providing food for families in need today by providing opportunity for families tomorrow. Created as dining-for-a-cause restaurants, the proceeds from your tab are folded right back into the program, creating new opportunities for aspiring chefs and real change in our community.

Want to go? Providence Kitchen is open Monday to Friday for breakfast and lunch with barista service all day until three. It is located on the first floor of the BB&T building in downtown Winston-Salem. Parking beneath the building is free.


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