‘To help change lives’: Englewood chef opens restaurant and training program to give back to community

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CHICAGO (SCS) — A Chicago chef’s small business has more than meets the eye.

What might look like a restaurant is so much more. He tells CBS 2’s Steven Graves how he aims to feed the stomachs and minds of his Englewood community.

Chef Darryl Fuery said his decades of culinary chops and skill on the grill make, for example, a simple bratwurst stand out.

“Jerk Chicken Sausage, a regular chicken sausage,” Fuery said. “Most of the time you were going for a regular hot dog with ketchup and mustard.”

They are High Bratswhat he calls his companywhich is near 63rd and Ashland, but don’t be quick to call it a restaurant.

“I wouldn’t say restaurant. I would say restaurant training program. That’s where the real work comes in.”

Because just beyond the command post, stoves and grills is a back room for cooking demonstrations and books. A feast for the mind.

“We’re not here for profit. We’re here to help change the lives of people in the neighborhood,” Fuery said.

He plans to hire culinary interns, as he calls them, to learn the trade. They will follow a multi-week program to not only perfect the specialty dishes that feature on the menu, but also to understand how to empathize with dishwashers, cashiers and servers.

This is because they will fill these positions as well, as real customers will try their dishes.

“The luxury of making mistakes, not getting fired, like in a regular restaurant, when you get it wrong. Usually because the end result is profit.”

Fuery is passionate about helping others because many have helped him get here.

“It’s a 10-year vision finally coming to life,” Fuery said.

Just recently the city said “no” to a business license.

“They had a lien on me since 2010 and I couldn’t afford it,” Fuery said.

Community groups like Englewood Teamwork and the Greater Englewood Community Development Corporation helped get a payment plan.

It is now open and on track to serve the public, looking for interns.

“People always think about crime and violence. Well, they can’t do that if they have a job,” Fuery said,

Feed a thirst for change, by lending a hand. Currently, Chief Fuery is looking to secure sponsors to help pay the trainees for their work and provide uniforms.

A grand opening for the company is planned for later this month.

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