Q: How many people go on a trip? Where are they from? How old are they?

Approximately 10-12 participants make up a CulinaryCorps outreach team but the numbers vary depending on the community we are serving.

Our volunteer chefs hail from all across the nation and Canada. They are all culinary professionals with at least 1 year of food-related work experience and/or a culinary degree. Chefs range from 21 years of age and beyond, we welcome all ages! Here’s a great example of a previous team.

Most importantly, all of our volunteers believe in the transformative power of food and consider it a privilege to turn their passion for cooking into community service.

Q: How much does it cost?

Cost varies depending on the location of the trip. The non-deductible trip fee can range from $300 to $500 and includes housing, most meals (no alcohol), and ground transportation. Airfare to and from the trip destination and airport transfers are not included.

To keep our trip fee low but make up the difference to cover our budget expenses, we ask each participant to make a fundraising commitment. Typically this goal ranges from $400-$750 per person, per trip. This funding comes from the participant’s network of friends, family and colleagues and is absolutely necessary to help fund logistics like hotel rooms and groceries. Of course, we help you with your fundraising efforts by creating a team-focused campaign like this one.

Note: Partial scholarships are sometimes available depending on the trip. Please contact us directly for details at culinarycorps@gmail.com

Q: Are there age restrictions for participants?

Yes. At this time, you must be at least 21 years of age to participate as a CulinaryCorps member.

Q: Do we actually cook?

Yes! A lot. Nevertheless, we always say that approximately 75% of the work we do will be kitchen related, the other 25% will be related to food but may not make use of your knives (ie: facilitating a “Foodie Olympics”, designing a cookbook, mock-interviewing culinary students, etc.)

Q: Where do we stay? How do we get around?

Housing varies according to the location of the trip. Typical housing includes dorm stays and basic hotels. Same-sex room sharing will be assigned. A single room can be requested and arranged at the expense of the volunteer. We typically rent  passenger vans for ground transport and request volunteer drivers for anyone over the age of 25 with a valid license.

Q:Is it competitive to get a slot on the team?

Yes. With the large numbers of applicants applying for a limited number of slots plus alumni wanting to return for another trip, nabbing an opening the first time around can be tricky. However, just because we cannot offer you a slot the first time you apply doesn’t mean we would not love to have you on the team the following year. In other words, if the trip interests you, apply again!

Q: What are the requirements to participate?

Our selection panel is looking to build a well-rounded team of people with varying experience levels. However, we do require that all participants have at least one year of professional culinary experience under their belt and/or a culinary degree.  Most importantly, individuals must be flexible, responsible and enthusiastic about the trip projects and the early mornings they entail.

We do follow-up phone interviews with two references as well as a personal interview with all potential participants. If a trip requires working with children, we also background check every CulinaryCorps volunteer.

We also ask that each participant must carry their own personal health insurance. We also ask that all selected participants commit to paying the trip fee in full and making our fundraising goal set for that year.

CulinaryCorps does not discriminate against age, gender, race, sexual preference or disability of applicant. Everyone is welcome to apply!

Q: I’m a professional baker, can I join the CulinaryCorps?

Yes, trained bakers are in high demand. Just keep in mind that you’ll probably have to be flexible when it comes to your responsibilities.

Q: I’m not a professional cook but I’m totally into this project and work in the industry in some capacity, can I sign up?

By all means, contact us and state your case. We are always looking for people with aligned interests and varied strengths such as nutritionists, wellness coaches, journalists, etc.

Q: I’m just a really good home cook, can I apply?

While some of our favorite food is made at home, at this point our trips are designed with the professionally trained cook in mind. However, we are working on way to build a culinary voluntourism trip for all. Stay tuned! If you are interested, reach out to us at culinarycorps@gmail.com

Q: Do you have any discounts with travel providers so I can get a deal on my airfare?

Unfortunately, no.

Q: Should I bring my knives? Whites? Chef shoes? Toque?

An “essential” set of knives is mandatory, three aprons, a chef’s jacket, chef’s shoes, side towels and something to cover your head (think baseball cap as opposed to toque). A more detailed packing list is created for for each trip and is sent to the selected participants.

Q: How much extra cash should I bring?

Although most meals are covered, alcohol, souvenirs, taxis, and tips are not. Plan on at least bringing an extra $100.