Chinook Cooks

"Where good eats happen."

Cooking at the Clubhouse

Imagine the delight to work beside professional chefs as you learn new skills and build the confidence essential to recovery.

For many people the hidden side of a restaurant is a compelling mystery. What does the kitchen look like? And just how did they learn to cut a carrot like that?

Our working restaurant run by members for the members, gives everyone an opportunity to see every angle, from soap to spice. We keep it clean and then cover the counters in flour while learning to bake, quickly tidying up again as we go.

  • We prepare lunch everyday for up to 35 people which requires learning to understand portions, estimating how much to prepare in advance and figuring out how much lead time is necessary so everyone can be served during the lunch hour.  Members have menu choices when they purchase their meals and handling a variety of requests builds skills in organization, time management and planning.
  • Everyone has a chance to participate in the smooth running of our kitchen. From laying the table to mopping the floors, all of Chinook joins together to make our mealtime experience easy and fun. Acting as waiter is a great way to learn new names. And the simple act of washing dishes nurtures a sense of responsibility, which is invaluable to building self esteem
  • We plan menus ahead of time and shop for the week's food together, giving rise to such practical benefits as learning to choose good produce, understanding how ingredients are selected, and how to plan your week based on when you shop and when foods expire. But it also helps our members understand the process of providing quality cuisine from the first test of a tomato.
  • We cater special events. - a valuable tool to have for any budding restauranteur.  Managing guests, supplies, timing, and of course the cooking, is a great test in coordination skills.
  • In our members words, "We make fancy shmancy desserts." The "Elvis is in the oven" baking class is a benefit to those who are in the kitchen and out. Learning to follow a recipe, plan the process and and manage measurements helps our members practice following instructions, handling arithmetic to adapt to different needs, and being flexible with demand and supply. The other units love it because we provide the morning goodies that go into our member-staffed coffee bar. A treat for everyone.
  • Our Tuesday and Friday night dinners are a perfect opportunity to practice planning and forethought while welcoming our members who work independently to join us after hours. Learning to turn around after mid day to work on an evening meal is a fantastic way to gain realistic kitchen experience. But what our members find most meaningful is the ability to maintain friendships with just a little commitment of time and energy.


It can be fast paced at times just as lunchtime comes, but no member is pressured to participate beyond his abilities. Patience is key, and we have a great deal to offer.

We understand the idea of returning to professional employment can be intimidating at first, but our members soon find they are lured into stepping up to new challenges as they discover their own mettle. It's exhilarating to learn you can achieve what a week ago you never imagined. And it opens doors.

"Thank you, Thank you very much" - The King of Rock