Farestart to reopen restaurant and relaunch new guest chef night series

FareStart, a social-enterprise nonprofit focused on job training and employment to disrupt poverty, has announced the reopening of its restaurant. The FareStart Restaurant will feature a new counter service concept for breakfast and lunch beginning in early July along with a series of Guest Chef Nights starting June 27, signaling a pivotal moment in the organization’s ongoing mission to provide on-the-job-training opportunities for people overcoming barriers to employment.

The restaurant will operate on weekdays from 7:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., offering classic comfort food menus. Diners will be able to choose from grab-and-go or made-to-order options that they can take with them or enjoy in the seating area. Additionally, the restaurant will be available for private events catered by FareStart. Revenue from the restaurant helps fund FareStart’s mission.

“We are excited to reopen the FareStart Restaurant with a fresh, new concept that aligns with the evolving culinary landscape,” said CEO Patrick D’Amelio. “We run food-based businesses that serve as classrooms for our students to learn on-the-job skills that will prepare them for career pathways of their own choosing. Our end goal is personal stability and economic mobility for people overcoming barriers to employment and the restaurant is a critical part of our work to achieve this.”  

One of the highlights of the FareStart Restaurant reopening is the revival of its beloved Guest Chef Nights. These special evenings pair premier local chefs with FareStart students and offer guests the chance to enjoy a three-course meal served by volunteers. The following dates and chefs have been announced for the remainder of 2024.

  • June 27: Chef Michela Tartaglia of Pasta Casalinga
  • July 18: Chef Brendan McGill of Hitchcock Restaurant Group
  • August 1: Chef Kristen Watts Schumacher of Carnation Farms
  • August 22: Chef Paolo Campbell of The Chicken Supply
  • September 12: Chef Rachel Yang of Relay Restaurant Group
  • October 3: Chef Grayson Pilar of MariPili Tapas Bar
  • October 24: Chef Victor Steinbrueck of Local Tide
  • November 21: Chef Aaron Tekulve of Surrell
  • December 19: Chef Ethan Stowell of Ethan Stowell Restaurants

FareStart students work alongside the nonprofit’s professional chefs at the restaurant and are part of the Food Pathways Program. The program provides 16 weeks of free, on-the-job training, including communication skills, technology and job preparedness, as well as tangible items such as housing, substance use recovery support, mental health counseling and job-searching support.

The restaurant will join the FareStart Cafés, located in South Lake Union and Beacon Hill. The cafés are home to the Barista & Customer Service Program, teaching people aged 15–24 valuable job and self-empowerment skills. FareStart also offers box lunches for large groups and events and a contract meals program that provides local schools and nonprofits with nutritious, prepared meals.

“This is a critical year of transition as we move back toward our shared support model—balancing donations and earned revenue from our businesses—to support our mission and create more impact,” said D’Amelio. “Now more than ever, we need the community to support FareStart in various ways: financial donations, volunteerism, patronizing our businesses, and helping us spread the word to your friends, families and networks.”

For more information about FareStart and its programs, visit www.farestart.org


FareStart is a James Beard Award-winning nonprofit organization that transforms lives, disrupts poverty and nourishes communities through food, life skills and job training. FareStart provides hands-on training to students through its social enterprise businesses. Since 1992, FareStart has provided opportunities for nearly 15,000 adults and youth, while serving 19 million meals to Seattle area schools, nonprofit organizations and homeless shelters. For more information, visit farestart.org.

Written by Charles Koh

Founded EatSeattle, and has continued to use his expertise as editor-in-chief to guide the website’s growth over the last five years. Koh’s experience focuses on digital marketing and social media, and has been a part of several companies, some of which he created, specializing in both areas over the course of his career. Koh was previously with Google and Zagat where he helped expand and grow communities worldwide.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *