CulinaryCorps enriches lives through food-focused volunteer service.


CulinaryCorps mobilizes skilled culinary volunteers to under-served communities via short-term volunteer trips. By coupling these service efforts with educational activities, CulinaryCorps exposes participants to the vital and complex role food plays in a community’s well-being.

Working closely with local leaders and culinary luminaries, CulinaryCorps provides team members the opportunity to transform their kitchen skills and passion for food into outreach tools that help to enrich the communities served.  In turn, the participants themselves are enriched: both as cooks and as citizens.

When team members return home, they are tasked with the challenge to continue to build upon the CulinaryCorps experience in their own lives, careers and communities.


CulinaryCorps partners with food-related organizations and businesses embedded within a community, lending manpower to their goals and objectives while working within the framework of the community’s own culinary heritage.

Each itinerary combines a broad range of service project partners, from farmers markets to school gardens, crisis kitchens to professional restaurants, intended to expose Corps members to the varied, vital, and oftentimes complex role food plays in the well-being of a community.


Integral to the CulinaryCorps approach to community service is the philosophy that food can be:  (1) a uniting force that brings together people, communities and countries to foster hospitality, generosity and communication; (2) a responsibility that encompasses many of the world’s most difficult challenges including hunger, sustainability and wellness; (3) an identity that creates the foundation for a community’s economy, history and individuality; and (4) a catalyst for bringing meaningful change to the table.

By targeting a subset of craftsmen (culinary professionals) and matching its expertise to challenges within a community’s culinary framework, CulinaryCorps offers an innovative method of fostering community service.

COMPLETED TRIPS TO DATE (click dates for trip travelogues)

  1. March 2007: New Orleans (18 Chefs)
  2. June 2007:  New Orleans (12 Chefs)
  3. September 2007: New Orleans and Mississippi (10 Chefs)
  4. December 2007:  New Orleans, St.Bernard Parish and Mississippi (12 Chefs)
  5. June 2008: New Orleans, St.Bernard Parish and Mississippi (12 Chefs)
  6. April 2009: New Orleans, St.Bernard Parish and Mississippi (12 Chefs)
  7. February 2010: Commonwealth of Puerto Rico (10 chefs)


Christine Carroll, Founding Director

Christine Carroll founded CulinaryCorps® in 2006 with the aim of creating a world-class service organization for culinary professionals.

Christine conceived of CulinaryCorps following a Share Our Strength conference in New Orleans, Louisiana, which she attended as a Henckels Cutting Edge scholarship recipient.  In New Orleans, she experienced first-hand one of America’s few indigenous cuisines, and she worked alongside those fighting to preserve it during the post-Katrina rebuilding.

Shortly after her return home to New York City, Christine launched CulinaryCorps to enable culinary students and professionals to volunteer their skills for the benefit of communities in need.

Prior to CulinaryCorps, Christine worked as an Americorps VISTA volunteer in Alaska, a researcher at the Harvard School of Public Health, a cook in Europe, and a baker in New England.  She has a degree in neuroscience from the College of William and Mary and a Grand Diploma in Culinary Arts from the French Culinary Institute.

Viviana Acosta-Padial, Program Coordinator and Trip Leader

Viviana participated in her first CulinaryCorps trip in June 2007.  Since then, she has returned as a trusted co-leader on three subsequent trips to New Orleans and the Mississippi Gulf Coast.  A graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education, Viviana worked as a food journalist in the United States before moving back to her hometown of San Juan to work full-time as a private yacht chef in Puerto Rico.  To read Viviana’s testimonial from her 2009 CulinaryCorps trip to New Orleans, click here [PDF].

Viviana is is currently the lead project coordinator for the upcoming 2010 trip to Puerto Rico.

CulinaryCorps Inc. is a non-profit entity incorporated under New York State, and recognized by the IRS: EIN Number 26-4652789


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