San Diego – The B5 Culinary Arts Academy Program (CAAP) held a dinner for public officials, community leaders, media, and other special guests on Saturday, March 17, at the United Domestic Workers (UDW) headquarters in San Diego.

CAAP is an innovative training program sponsored by the United Domestic Workers (UDW/AFSCME 3930) that offers free, real-world training to members of the San Diego community who could benefit from it. This includes veterans, home care workers, rehabilitation participants, sex trafficking survivors, and formerly incarcerated individuals who often struggle to find steady employment.

This seven-month, one-weekend-a-month program is specifically designed for persons passionate about culinary arts who may have no other method of entry into this high-demand, lively, and rewarding field. CAAP not only trains students to work in the culinary field with hands-on kitchen skills, but also how to start and operate a business, and how to develop life skills like attitude and positive thinking for a real chance at career success.

The theme for the dinner was “Something to Talk About” and was designed as an opportunity for guests to discuss CAAP’s mission, its value to the community, and how supporters can contribute to the success of the program—all over delicious Moroccan cuisine prepared by the culinary students.

This is CAAP’s third year of operation and the first class to be taught by Chef Brent Southcombe. Chef Southcombe developed and runs the culinary program at Open Gate International, a non-profit providing training, mentoring and employment to survivors of human trafficking and other underserved groups desiring career advancement.

Chef Southcombe and his students will hold a variety of “Something to Talk About” dinners throughout the year, each with a different culinary theme, to involve the community in the students’ progress.

“Our students are ready to give back to the community—and to show what they’ve learned so far,” said LaVerne G. Davis, President of the B5 Foundation. “This is an opportunity to see what good people can do when they are given a chance to reach their potentials. It’s also an opportunity to enjoy a great meal!”



The B5 Foundation works with community partners to create a path for respect, dignity, independence, and self-sufficiency for the sick, elderly, disabled and re-entry populations. This is achieved through continued training, college access mentoring and sustaining support for those who serve these populations. The B5 Foundation was started by The United Domestic Workers of America (UDW)/AFSCME Local 3930 made up of 100,000 in-home caregivers across California.