CHANGING LIVES ONE PLATE AT A TIME
Chef Saulo is the co-founder and culinary creative behind Salt Kitchen. He is as passionate about his food as he is about giving back to the community.
Years ago in his youth, Saulo fell into the wrong crowds, found himself in trouble with the law, eventually leading him to serving eight years in prison. In the search for change, Chef Saulo came out of incarceration with God in his heart and a plan to not only better his life, but the lives of the people around him. Saulo came to realize what many of us struggle to understand about the youth in our communities; that there is a need for mentoring and outreach to those that have been impacted by the justice system.
Throughout the years of traversing the food industry, Saulo honed his craft. In the jobs he worked and the skills he gained, he grew to understand that food plays a role in almost everyone’s life. Aside from the obvious sustenance, an induction into the world of food helped Saulo realize that food had the power to transform people’s lives. When a person works with food there are many markers that can be achieved as skill grows and flavor profile develops, presenting minor successes that provide a sense of empowerment in the mastering of a craft. With each bite and creation, your confidence in yourself grows and you start to see yourself in a different light. It reveals the qualities that had maybe been buried deep, possibly from trauma or unfulfilled experiences. A realization of your self-worth can lead to healing, and it allows you to move forward with the people in your life instead of being stuck in the past.
That’s just a pinch of what happened in Chef Saulo’s life and his relationship with the mastery of his craft. He had these epiphanies but no real way to share the experience with his community. Enter Jail to Jobs. When Chef Saulo first came to Jail to Jobs, he was confronted with mirror images of himself in the form of the youth that were a part of the program. He saw the potential that they had for both good and bad and he realized what they needed was someone to show them the right path.
Saulo, with the help of Chris Haskins and the Jail to Jobs family, finally created Salt Kitchen; a mentoring program focused on teaching basic job skills and opening doors to youthful offenders that would have otherwise been shut. Through the Salt Kitchen program, he aimed to help enrich the quality of life for the youthful offenders in his community through on-the-job and interpersonal skills training.
Chef Saulo, along with his students, has built up Salt Kitchen into a strong Catering and Meals To-Go program. Salt Kitchen focuses on bringing the community together by partnering with other socially-minded groups in order to weave a tapestry of businesses that will not only empower the youth of today but create a bright future for their tomorrow