What is In Chef’s Hands?
In Chef’s Hands is a non-profit organization providing culinary educational experiences with renowned professional chefs for individuals with special needs who have a passion for food and cooking.
When was this organization founded?
The organization was officially founded in December of 2010, and currently retains a pending 501(c)(3) status.
Who founded this organization?
In Chef’s Hands was originally founded by Chef Rodelio Aglibot, Chef Todd Stein, Jeremy Dubin and Scott Crane, and has since taken on additional board members to assist with day-to-day operations and expand the organization.
How do you determine which individuals with special needs qualify for the program?
In Chef’s Hands has a designated committee that reads through all participant applications and follows up with a phone call to screen, discover participant preferences and determine whether In Chef’s Hands can adequately provide an experience that will benefit each individual.
Is this program only limited to individuals who have physical disabilities or special needs?
No. The definition of special needs is broad and therefore, any individual with a genuine passion for food and/or cooking qualifies. Persons living with any physical disabilities, medical conditions, intellectual difficulties, or emotional problems are encouraged to apply.
What does my donation do?
With your help the money we raise through fundraisers, individual donations and corporate sponsors goes directly to enhancing In Chef’s Hands operations and the unique one-on-one experiences. Money will be allocated for enhancements such as food and ingredients when needed (as not all chef’s in our database own their restaurants and therefore are donating just their time and expertise). In Chef’s Hands will also use funds for transportation when needed. As we continue to expand we hope to use money raised to provide each experience for anyone no matter the location or accessibility. In time, this will hopefully be an In Chef’s Hands kitchen, accessible to all our participants.
Is there an age limit for applicants?
No, this program is open to all ages. We try to encourage those that are over the age of 12 to apply, so as they can fully appreciate the experience.
How does the program work?
In Chef’s Hands is designed to identify the personal interests and special needs of each individual to create a stimulating culinary session with a chef who shares that same passion. Each application is followed up with a phone call, where an In Chef’s Hands committee member screens and identifies the needs and preferences of each individual and from that, we learn which chef is best to connect with a participant.
I am a family member of an individual with special needs and I would feel more comfortable if I could attend this experience. Is that possible?
Yes! We understand a disability, medical condition or even an emotional state can affect entire families, not just the individual who possess it. We encourage each session to be a family affair and we invite immediate family members to participate in each experience as it’s supposed to serve as a healing and uplifting experience.
How long does each experience last?
Every experience varies, but generally each session will last approximately 2-3 hours.
If I am a chef and am interested in getting involved in the program, how do I get started?
In Chef’s Hands is always expanding our database of renowned Chicago chefs to participate in the program. If you are interested in getting involved, visit www.inchefshands.org where there is a page dedicated to chef inquiries. In time, we hope to expand our interest with chefs across the US.
I am not a chef and I am not an individual with special needs, but I am very interested in lending my services. How can I get involved?
Will this organization expand beyond the Chicago area?
Yes. Our hope is to create a strong foundation for this organization in the Chicago market, with plans to expand the program nationally within the next few years, if not sooner!