This was the first initiative that we launched in 2015. It started with 6 young adults who trained and worked at 610 Magnolia and MilkWood. The purpose of this initiative was to empower young people in the neighborhoods of Louisville’s West End and Smoketown training in our restaurants. It was a new and fresh approach to offering jobs to young adults who could not afford culinary school or higher education.
A mentorship for young adults

Smoke & Soul

It was a challenge to get through that first year of the program and we learned from the young adults who made us better by giving us feedback and guidance. We have improved our curriculum and we are excited to offer a new program for young adults to work at Chef Edward Lee’s restaurants in Louisville, KY.

Smoke & Soul is an initiative where we mentor and train young adults who are high school graduates into jobs in the restaurant industry. Through a curriculum that we have developed, we give our interns the proper training and education to lead them into a productive career.

Candidates do not need any prior work experience. They are given real world training under the supervision of a teacher/mentor.

They will be paid a stipend through the 40 week program. At the end of the program, once they have completed the curriculum, they will be offered a position at one of Chef Edward Lee’s restaurants.

This program has had a successful pilot run and the goal now is to expand the program with Chef Lee’s newest restaurant, Whiskey Dry. The plan is to mentor 4 young adults each year with the goal of encouraging them into industry professionals by the end of the 40 week program.
It is a focused and personalized training program meant for only the strongest candidates from

All candidates must fill out an application, go through a strict screening, and interview with our program director Lindsey Ofcacek.



  • Smoke & Soul Initiative: This program is only available to young adults who do not own their own restaurant, and have been residing in Kentucky for at least 1 year.

  • Applicants must have a high school diploma or equivalent

  • Applicants must be at least 18 years old, with legal status to work

  • Applicants do not need any prior experience working in restaurants

  • Complete the application form and the short-answer questions.

  • Submit all transcripts from education or programs obtained during the past five years.

  • Attach two letters of reference. Additional letters are encouraged and welcomed.

  • You must be available to interview with our board member in person




Mail : Attn: Lindsey Ofcacek
610 W. Magnolia Avenue, Louisville, KY, 40208

In Person: To submit an application in person, please call 502.636.0783 to arrange a meeting.