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Baltimore chef named CNN Hero

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After seeing coworkers at the Harbor Court Hotel restaurant struggle to hold down a job, Baltimore’s Galen Sampson decided that when he opened his own restaurant, he wanted to create an apprenticeship program for recovering Baltimoreans. And he did just that.

“It gives our people in transition paid jobs,” he told CNN in the first of three videos on the news Web site. “It also allows us to give them hands-on, real-time instruction.”

Galen and his wife, Bridget, now co-own Dogwood Sustainable Foods, which operates the Dogwood Deli in Hampden.

“She has been very active in the community with people in transition from problems in their past, and I became actively involved with her, helping her teach and doing some cooking,” Galen explains in the second video, A Really Good Team. “When I started working with Bridget in the programs that she had in the city, I started to really see it firsthand.”

The program, Chefs in the Making, will provide training and jobs to 30 people in transition this year.

Sampson was a Baltimore Community Fellow through the Open Society Institute in 2006.

JACKIE SAUTER, Web Editor