Our Mission

La Nueva Vida Culinary program, through an exclusive partnership with Exodus Transitional Community, Inc., will teach formerly incarcerated individuals interested in culinary and hospitality management the essential skills needed to succeed in this industry. We will select five participants, through interviews, to be enrolled in this personal and individualized course.

What We Aim To Do

The goal of the program is to be beneficial to individuals who have gained some cooking experience while in prison, and then be given the opportunity to expand on those skills and translate them into a real work setting. Most importantly, the program will be a way for the students to acquire full-time employment, where upon successful completion of the program, they will be employed full-time at the Copacabana.

Course Details:

Interview and Selection Process
5 participants selected
12 sessions
3.5 hours per session (total of 42 course hours)

Brief Course Plans per Session

    • Session 1:
    • Basic Cooking Skills
    • Knife Skills
    • Vocabulary
    • Session 2:
    • Basic Cooking Skills (cont'd)
    • Knife Skills (cont'd)
    • Basic Butchering
    • Stock Making
    • Session 3
    • Sauce & Soup Making
    • Costing
    • Sanitation
    • Session 4
    • Introduction to Appetizers
    • Salads
    • Dressings
    • Session 5
    • Garde Manager
    • Butchering
    • Charchuterie
    • Session 6
    • Introduction to Hot Foods
    • Sauteing
    • Grilling
    • Session 7
    • Introduction to Hot Foods (cont'd)
    • Roasting
    • Frying
    • Session 8
    • Introduction to Baking
    • Muffins & Cakes
    • Session 9
    • Introduction to Baking (cont'd)
    • Pies & Bread
    • Session 10
    • Menu Planning
    • Catering
    • Costing
    • International Cooking
    • Session 11
    • Preperation for Food Certificate
    • Protection Course
    • Session 12
    • Grand Buffet

Course Location:

La Vida Cafe
6393 Broadway
Riverdale, NY 10471

Course Skills:

Participants will gain skills in:

  • Basic Cooking
  • Costing
  • Sanitation
  • and Recipe Development

as well as knowledge of:

  • Baking for restaurants and catering

They will be fully prepared to gain employment positions as entry-level line and prep cooks, and will obtain their food protection certificate, a prerequisite for employment in many restaurants and cafes.

All five of the participants will be employed full-time at the re-designed Copacabana which has been relocated in Times Square.


Alex Garcia

plant of life