IMPACT’s Community Cooking Class is Now at the Wheaton Rec Center

As we near the first anniversary of IMPACT’s community-based cooking classes, we’re pleased to share that the program has expanded to include a second location! IMPACT Network Builder and culinary school graduate, Danny Centeno, is now teaching his popular cooking class not only at Hughes United Methodist Church, but also at the Wheaton Community Recreation Center, using the facility’s teaching kitchen. Many thanks to Montgomery County Department of Recreation for their support of this program!

While this second class may have a different location, the goals remain the same—connect community members, build skills, and boost economic potential. During a recent class, students bonded over chopping carrots and asparagus while also learning techniques for cooking the perfect scallop. Chef Danny keeps the mood light and fun, but he’s very serious about teaching skills that provide entry into the food service industry, an important stepping stone to economic empowerment for many immigrants.

Graduates of past classes have gone on to work as line chefs, bakers, and kitchen managers at local restaurants and one graduate relaunched a shuttered catering business. Students in the current Recreation Center class have their own aspirations. Doris wants to open a bakery. Dubiney wants to introduce a food truck that serves Columbian Fusion dishes. Katheryn hopes to one day delight diners at her Dominican restaurant.  To be sure, dreams abound in this kitchen and students are gaining the social capital and technical skills to help them come true.

To learn more about this program, please contact Danny Centeno at