ROBBINSDALE, Minn. (WCCO) — A unique opportunity this summer to pay young people to gain practical experience in the restaurant industry.

At Travail Kitchen and Amusements in Robbinsdale, patrons experience an 18-course gourmet tasting menu. Co-owner and chef Mike Brown wants help in the kitchen.

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“We are looking for people who are fresh out of high school, choosing the path they want to follow,” he said.

The Chefs-in-Training program is an apprenticeship that allows young people to gain work experience in a high-end kitchen.

No previous cooking experience is required and pay starts at $15 per hour.

“What we primarily train is organization, focus, and self-determination, and we use the tools of the kitchen to drive that forward,” Brown said. “In this eight-month program, we have a bunch of different classes that we teach.”

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Communication and what Brown calls “soft skills” are just as high a priority as cooking and cooking skills.

“It’s more about taking young adults who are passionate and determined to do something and focus on developing that,” Brown said.

Brown says one of his chef-in-training arrived a year ago, shy as a mouse, but his confidence has grown and he now works at the front of the house, sitting and serving customers.

“These soft skills have to be learned at some point, and it will give you a head start in all these different categories, which will open doors for you to do whatever you want to do,” Brown said.

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Labor is hosting an information session on Tuesday for anyone interested in applying. Send an email to Rachel Jacobson, Labor Human Resources Director, at [email protected] to confirm your attendance.