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Equipping people from vulnerable life situations with culinary arts and life skills 

enabling them to continue their journey of healing and reintegrate back into society.


75% of individuals re-engage in criminal activity within five years of their release from jail or prison.


Roughly how much it costs to run the U.S. prison system per year, not factoring in social services.


Inmates who participated in an educational program had 43 percent lower odds of being convicted of a crime and returning to prison.


Our Motivation

Deidre, the visionary founder of Open Gate International, embarked on a journey of discovery and empathy in 2016. Her travels took her to various countries where she had the privilege of hearing the heart-wrenching stories of survivors of human trafficking and other exploitative industries. Through these conversations and by engaging with non-profit organizations and government officials, Deidre gained an understanding of the profound emotional, social, and economic devastation wrought upon individuals, communities, and entire countries.

Determined to make a meaningful impact, Deidre and her team delved deeper. They reached out to various organizations that were already engaged in rescue, rehabilitation, and other forms of support. What they discovered was a crucial gap in the support system: job training and workforce integration.

Our Solution

As a result of her findings, Deidre founded Open Kitchen with a mission to bridge that gap and provide comprehensive support to survivors. The organization offers accredited training programs, life skills development, and job placement services to survivors.


Additionally, Open Kitchen is committed to raising awareness and educating the public on the importance of investing in the rehabilitation and reintegration of survivors, recognizing that it is vital for their well-being and for the betterment of society as a whole.

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Salt and Pepper Shakers
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House Sketch
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Mind Sketch

Open Kitchen Program Benefits

Through classwork, daily lectures and hands-on sessions, students learn all aspects of food prep, ingredients, presentation and kitchen tool operation and maintenance.

Substantial research has shown that access to education and training services while incarcerated can significantly reduce recidivism. 

From learning to maintain a positive attitude to achieving excellence at work, students develop the skills necessary to succeed in the food industry; where reliability, trust and teamwork are everything.


Students that have graduated

from our culinary program in

Orange County

Eligible graduates that

have been placed in

culinary positions

Of those graduates are

still working in the

culinary industry

Alumni Testimonials

“Open Kitchen changed my life dramatically. After chemo, I didn’t always feel my best during class, but my peers and instructors kept encouraging me. OGI ignited a drive within me to pursue my dreams; now I want others to know they can do the same.”


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