Originally from the Caribbean, Romano Chambers knows financial struggles and grew up with them for much of his life. The struggle to make ends meet meant that Romano’s dreams of becoming a successful chef would remain just that — dreams. For Romano, the cost of attending culinary school was out of reach, until he heard about St. Joseph Center’s Culinary Training Program.
Romano joined us in 2015 and hit the ground running. He worked hard and never took any opportunities for granted. Thus, when he wrote an essay about the Michelin-rated French restaurant Melisse, we ensured that he would have the opportunity to stage there. Following that experience, Romano went on to work with celebrity Chef Eric Greenspan and later secured his internship with Bravo Top Chef alumni, Nyesha Arrington.
Romano’s work ethic, while under Nyesha, did not go unnoticed, and halfway through his internship, Nyesha offered him a full-time position. Romano happily accepted.
Romano helped Nyesha launch her restaurant, Leona. Shortly after that, with Romano still at her side, Nyesha was named Best Chef of 2015 by Eater Los Angeles. Romano continues to work with Nyesha as she takes on new endeavors.
By the time David decided to turn his life around, he was worried his background would interfere with him getting a second chance. He had made a series of choices in life that left him homeless and with a criminal record, but St. Joseph Center gave him that chance he needed.
David was accepted into the Culinary Training Program and excelled as a student. Though issues from his past posed obstacles, David remained steadfast, refusing to let them interfere with his training.
Having never achieved a graduation, David was proud to stand in front of his family and friends during his Culinary Training Program graduation. For him, graduation not only meant that he could change his future, but that he had people who believed in him along the way.
After graduation, David secured a position at Superba Food + Bread in Venice and has been excelling there ever since. Though his work keeps him busy David gives back by quietly volunteering his time in our training kitchen, and he never forgets to bring delicious Superba treats!