Mon, December 4 - 5:30pm


Great Barrington, MA – Railroad Street Youth Project (RSYP), the dynamic youth empowerment nonprofit organization serving young people in southern Berkshire County, is pleased to announce that its annual Culinary Arts Celebration will take place on Monday, December 4th at 5:30pm at Crissey Farm (426 Stockbridge Rd, Great Barrington, MA).

This special evening is the culminating event for RSYP’s Culinary Arts Apprenticeship Program, which offers 8-week apprenticeships under the guidance of local professional chefs in actual work environments for young people to gain the skills necessary for employment in the hospitality field. Youth who have completed the program have gone on to attend prestigious culinary schools including the Culinary Institute of America and have launched successful careers in the food industry.

Launched in 2006, the program was created in response to the rising popularity of cooking shows and celebrity chefs, and the growing number of local young people interested in these topics. Steve Root, the program’s coordinator at that time, contacted Steve Picheny, the owner of Pearl’s Restaurant in Great Barrington, who offered the burgeoning program the use of his professional kitchen. That first year, young people participated in a lesson plan that included inviting a guest chef to come in and design a menu to prepare and serve to the community. Red Lion Inn Executive Chef Brian Alberg and Dan Smith, owner and executive chef of John Andrews Restaurant in South Egremont, were among the early guest chefs – and their dedication to the program continues today.

The featured guest chef at this year’s event is Chris Bonniver, a Berkshire resident and Executive Chef of the Hermitage in West Dover, Vermont. Chef Bonniver is an award-winning chef who has enjoyed a career spanning over 35 years working for Michelin-rated and AAA-rated 4 & 5 star restaurants and resorts. He will share his passion for farm-to-table dining with apprentices and guests at RSYP’s event.  This passion was first sparked when Chef Bonniver was 14 years old and working at his first job at the Hostellerie Bressane in Hillsdale, NY. 

At this year’s Culinary Arts Celebration, Chef Bonniver and the program’s mentor/chefs will guide young, aspiring culinary professionals in preparing a five-course menu for their families, friends and the community. The evening also includes a certificate ceremony to honor the young chefs and a live service auction to support RSYP and its mission to empower youth.

Tickets to the event are $125 per person and are available now at or via phone at 413-528-2475. Tables are also available for purchase. All proceeds support RSYP’s youth development programs and activities.



Who: Railroad Street Youth Project

What: The Culinary Arts Apprenticeship Dinner

When: Monday, December 4 at 5:30 PM

Where: Crissey Farm, 426 Stockbridge Road, Great Barrington

Tickets: call 413-528-2475

Location:   Crissey Farm, 426 Stockbridge Road, Great Barrington   [MAP]
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