Meet Serina Elliott, future kitchen champion

Video by Thomas Gorman, John Grennan and Puck Lo/Oakland North

The Society of Saint Vincent de Paul of Alameda County serves 1,000 meals a day to poor and homeless people in its dining room at the corner of San Pablo and 23rd Street in Oakland. It also runs several job training programs, including “Kitchen of Champions” for low-income people looking to enter the food services industry.

On September 30, Kitchen of Champions students had the opportunity to train with Matt Colgan, head chef at Rockridge’s À Côté French-Italian restaurant. Under Colgan’s direction, the students prepared a four-course meal for 120 guests attending a fundraising event for Saint Vincent de Paul.

In this video, we follow Serina Elliott, a Kitchen of Champions student from North Oakland’s Golden Gate neighborhood. Just four weeks into her program, Elliott aspires to one day become “a Food Network star.”

Kitchen of Champions from Oakland North on Vimeo.


  1. Jill Taylor

    This sounds like a wonderful program. Is it possible that you could do follow-up stories in the future to see how Serina and her classmates make progress in this career?

  2. it’s a very great program, do you know such a program in any other states?

  3. Serina enrolled in the culinary program at Laney College in January of this year. She has gotten straight A’s for the first time in her memory and is ahead of the curve because of her time at St. Vincent de Paul. She has become interested in front of the house management. Will keep you updated!

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