Category Archives: The Culinary School

Capital One presents $50,000 to Food Bank of Delaware at 37th Culinary Class Graduation

DSC_0393webCapital One presented a generous $50,000 grant to the Food Bank of Delaware yesterday at the 37th graduating class of The Culinary School. Capital One’s funding will help support student scholarships for The Culinary School, the Mobile Pantry program and other Food Bank of Delaware hunger-relief programs.

Jim Kelly, Head of Direct Banking, Capital One, provided keynote remarks for the graduation ceremony.

Students have spent the past 14 weeks developing their passion for the culinary arts. From proper knife handling techniques to Serve Safe certification and completing an internship, the students are prepared for entry-level jobs in the food industry. Student internship sites included Desserts by Dana, Domaine Hudson, Two Stones Pub, Westin Hotel and more.

“The Culinary School is all about providing Delawareans with the skills they need in order to obtain jobs in the thriving restaurant industry. We can’t do what we do without the support of partners like Capital One,” said Food Bank of Delaware President and CEO Patricia Beebe. “I am proud of the progress our graduates have made. They are not the same individuals they were 14 weeks ago. Each and every one of them has worked hard to get to today’s graduation. There were challenges, but they all made it.”

The mission of The Culinary School is two-fold. First, students are taught skills that are highly desirable to employers in the food industry. Second, these newly-developed skills have the potential to lead to jobs in the industry that provide job security and economic sustainability.

Students are referred to the program through the Criminal Justice Council, Delaware Department of Labor, Delaware Division of Vocational Rehabilitation and other community-based organizations.

“This was one of the greatest experiences that I’ve ever been through,” said graduate Markevis Clark. “I would recommend this program to anyone looking for a positive change in their life.”

The graduates include:

  • Kasha Allen (Highest GPA award)
  • Tyrone Brooks (Perfect Attendance award)
  • Kawyne Carter
  • Markevis Clark
  • Dave Coverdale (Perfect Attendance award)
  • Kevin Deler
  • Glynise Dillard
  • Kendall Gibbs (Most Improved award)
  • Larry Kelley
  • Stanford Pierce
  • Rory Price (Best Attitude award)
  • Katrina Repetti

To learn more about The Culinary School, please visit http://www.fbd.org/the-culinary-school/.

Leave a comment

Filed under Supporters, The Culinary School

Chase presents $58,000 to Food Bank of Delaware in support of Culinary School

CheckChase presented a $58,000 donation to the Food Bank of Delaware yesterday at La Fia Bakery + Bistro + Market to help continue supporting The Culinary School, the Food Bank’s 14-week culinary employment training program.

The success of The Culinary School is dependent on both corporate and culinary partnerships. To highlight these partnerships, the check presentation was held at La Fia. Since opening its doors in the LOMA section of Wilmington in March, La Fia has played an active role in developing The Culinary School’s students. Most recently, Owner/Chef Brian Sikora hired Culinary School graduate Andrew Morley on a full-time basis.

“We are proud to support The Culinary School,” said Sikora. “I’ve enjoyed getting to know Andrew as an apprentice and now a full-time employee. Supporting our community is what we are all about at La Fia.”

“Small businesses are a key engine of job creation, and JPMorgan Chase helps connect small businesses – and local residents – with the resources they need to grow,” said Daryl Graham, Vice President, Global Philanthropy, JPMorgan Chase. “We are proud partners to the Food Bank and First State Community Loan Fund because of their focus on growing our local economy and increasing job opportunities in the City of Wilmington.”

“We were happy to be able to offer a loan to La Fia, which provided some of their startup capital. They’ve been great borrowers,” said Vandell Hampton, President and CEO of First State Community Loan Fund. “Connecting with the Food Bank has been good for La Fia, as it has enabled them to identify top caliber employees as the business grows.”

Since its inception in 2002 The Culinary School has graduated close to 400 students. The mission of The Culinary School is two-fold. First, students are taught skills that are highly desirable to employers in the food industry. Second, these newly-developed skills have the potential to lead to jobs in the industry that provide job security and economic sustainability.

“We can always count on Chase to help ensure that Delawareans have the job skills training needed to find sustainable employment,” said Food Bank of Delaware President and CEO Patricia Beebe. “Thanks to their support we will be able to provide 10 Delawareans with scholarships to attend our training program. Our graduate, Andrew, was recently hired full-time here at La Fia. He is a great example of the wonderful opportunities that exist through our program.”

Leave a comment

Filed under Donate, Programs, Supporters, The Culinary School

Culinary Student Spotlight: Kevin Deler

Kevin TCS Class 37When Kevin Deler was a high school student at Mt. Pleasant High School, he visited The Culinary School at the Food Bank of Delaware as part of a career exploration field trip.  His visit sparked his interest in the culinary arts. Since graduating high school in 2007, Kevin has worked in both the construction and dining services field.

After being laid off from his seasonal job in a dining hall this spring, Kevin was ready to expand his knowledge in the culinary field. He was accepted as a student at The Culinary School with full funding.

With aspirations of becoming a restaurant chef, Kevin is taking advantage of every opportunity he can through The Culinary School.

“Chef Nicole [Wilson] is a good instructor,” he says. “She has taught me a lot. A lot of terms that I needed to know out in the working world.”

Kevin and his classmates are getting an early start in a real working kitchen with their Monday internship experience. Every Monday, students spend the day in the kitchen of a local restaurant or food service provider. Kevin was lucky to land an internship at the new Westin Hotel in Wilmington.

Since starting his internship at the Wilmington Riverfront’s first and only hotel, Kevin has applied his classroom experience to a working kitchen. Techniques he learned in class, like mire poix and braising, are helping him in the Westin’s kitchen.

“At the Westin I have been prepping and working closely with Chef Chris,” Kevin explains. “He has been teaching me a lot.”

In addition to general prep work, Kevin is also assisting with banquet meals.  Once his 12 weeks of instruction at the Food Bank are complete, Kevin will intern at the Westin for a full two weeks. He and his classmates will graduate on Tuesday, September 9.

Kevin’s favorite dishes to prepare are steak and ribs and says the most valuable skills he has learned so far are knife skills and cooking techniques.

“The Culinary School has done a lot for me,” he says. “I am learning a lot. I am on the right track in terms of getting my goals together for my career. I want to become a chef, and I am taking the steps to do that.”

To learn more about The Culinary School, including information about becoming a student and supporting the program as an internship or employment site, please visit http://www.fbd.org/the-culinary-school/.

Leave a comment

Filed under Programs, The Culinary School

Second Annual Taste of Rehoboth

Food Bank of Delaware Chef Instructor Nicole Wilson enjoyed last year’s Taste of Rehoboth with students from The Culinary School in Newark. This year students from the Milford Branch will be in attendance to distribute gourmet food samples and interact with chefs!

By Gwen Guerke, Communications Coordinator

It’s no secret: Rehoboth Beach is a dining destination.

The 2nd Annual Taste of Rehoboth will be held from 5-8 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 21 at the Rehoboth Beach Convention Center.

Last year’s inaugural Taste was a sell-out success and raised more than $11,000 for the Food Bank of Delaware.

More than 600 ticket-holders crowded into the center to enjoy live cooking and food samples from Rehoboth’s best gourmet restaurants and chefs. Samples are paired with Dogfish Head beer and fine wines.

The event was the initiative of the Rehoboth Inspired Chefs Initiative, a group of local chefs and restaurant professionals from Rehoboth, in partnership with Milton’s Dogfish Head Brewery.

Just like last year,the evening will include live music, as well as silent and live auctions.
Needless to say, guests enjoyed the fare, the camaraderie and the opportunity to help fund The Culinary School at the Food Bank of Delaware.

The Food Bank of Delaware operates two culinary schools, one in Milford and the other in Newark, providing a training program to place graduates in the local hospitality industry.

Advance tickets are $50; $60 at the door. Tickets may be purchased at: aMuse, Eden, Espuma, Hobo’s, Rehoboth Beach Main Street and Azura.

Taste of Rehoboth will also serve as a food drive; the public is encouraged to bring canned goods to donate directly to the Food Bank

Leave a comment

Filed under Events, The Culinary School

Food Bank of Delaware celebrates third Milford culinary class graduation

Eight members of The Culinary School at the Food Bank of Delaware celebrated their achievements today during a graduation ceremony for the third class at the organization’s Milford Branch.

Matt Haley, founder and president of SoDel Concepts, and a restaurateur whose successes include Fish On!, Papa Grande, Lupo di Mare, Bluecoast, Matt’s Fish Camp, Northeast Seafood Kitchen and Catch 54, all located in Delaware resort communities. Haley is also the recipient of the prestigious 2014 James Beard Humanitarian Award.

“Matt Haley Companies believes in the Food Bank of Delaware. We support the food bank and are connected with their grass roots, community-minded efforts throughout the state. We had substantial success with the graduates who have come through the program and are happy to announce the placement of them throughout Matt Haley Companies,” he said.

“We support and commend the staff on their striving for excellence throughout the community.”

Under the instruction of Food Bank of Delaware Chef Instructor Tim Hunter and the guidance of Brenda Palomo, Culinary School Program Manager, the students spent the past 14 weeks developing their skills and passion for the culinary arts. From proper knife handling techniques to Serve Safe certification and completing a two-week internship, the students are prepared for entry-level jobs in the food industry.

Five of the eight graduates have already obtained employment. Some employers include Catch 54, Jimmy’s Grille, Verde Italian School and the Duncan Center.

“I would encourage this class to stay focused on their goals,” said Milford Branch Director Chad Robinson. “Having Chef Tim and the food bank as a resource is of great advantage in finding their place in the industry and as long as they can remain focused and always look for ways to improve themselves we are always here to support that.”

The mission of The Culinary School is two-fold. First students are taught skills that are highly desirable to employers in the food industry and second, these newly-developed skills have the potential to lead to jobs in the industry that provide job security and economic sustainability.

Congratulations to the graduates:

Curtis Bailey
Carla Franco
Joseph Fulmer
Sierra Hughes
Antonio Kokkinos
Caytlin Montgomery
Sean Shaver
Katoria Showell

To learn more about The Culinary School, please visit http://www.fbd.org/the-culinary-school.

Leave a comment

Filed under The Culinary School

Culinary Student Spotlight: Dave Coverdale

Dave CoverdaleBy Kevin Crean, Communications Intern

Students from The Culinary School at the Food Bank of Delaware come from all walks of life. Recently, I had the opportunity to sit down with Dave Coverdale, who is enrolled at The Culinary School in Newark.

Dave, born and raised in Bear, DE, has always enjoyed cooking. He has experience in the banking industry and decided to go back to school for the culinary arts. Dave did some research and found information about the school and proceeded to enroll.

Dave has gained a great deal of knowledge in his short time here at The Culinary School. From kitchen terminology and kitchen etiquette, to knife skills and how to use professional cooking equipment, our culinary students are taught it all. Some of his favorite dishes he has learned to prepare are mirepoix, clarified butter, roasted garlic, roux and soups, as well as stocks.

Dave is currently excelling in both the kitchen and classroom. Wanting to gain experience beyond the walls of the Food Bank volunteered his time to help grill burgers and hot dogs at Woodside Farm Creamery’s annual National Ice Cream Day celebration and is doing a variety of culinary tasks  at the Our Lady of Fatima festival.

Dave’s training is not limited to culinary techniques and knife skills; he is also learning life skills, like working with different types of people, which are needed to excel not only in the kitchen, but in his day-to-day life.

Dave says that The Culinary School has impacted his life in “a very positive way, inside and outside of the class.”

Ready for a career in the food service industry? The next class in Newark begins September 22 (Milford class begins August 18). To learn more about The Culinary School at the Food Bank of Delaware, please click here.

Leave a comment

Filed under Programs, The Culinary School

Culinary Student Spotlight: Sean Shaver

071414_TCS at Verdi photo (2)For Sean Shaver, a Food Bank of Delaware Culinary School student, an internship at Verde –The Italian Cooking School in Milford, is a match made in heaven.

Nancy Chirdon Forster, Verde’s founder and owner, agrees.

A restaurateur and caterer, Nancy says she supports the mission of the Food Bank of Delaware.

“I believe in its value to the community, and it’s well run,” she said.

When The Culinary School opened at the Milford site in September, Nancy knew she would want to partner by providing internship opportunities.

While Verde is a cooking school, it’s not a training institution like The Culinary School; Verde offers cooking lessons, catering and private dinners, luncheons and classes.

“We participate in the Lewes Farmers’ Market, and we want to be part of Milford’s,” said Nancy, adding that as a one-woman business it was impossible to be at both markets at the same time each Saturday morning.

Enter Sean, who was busy making cookie dough for the next Saturday’s market.

“He’s developing an interest in everything. He’s caught that food bug,” said Nancy.

Because this is a small business, Sean is learning by doing. For example, on his first day Sean helped prepare a luncheon for 22 guests, a full house in the space Verde occupies on South West Front Street.

“I’m so happy to have Sean. I just tell him to yell if he’s drowning,” Nancy said, noting that his help will open up more options for her business and for other students as well.

A Milford resident, Sean is equally enthusiastic about the internship. A retail manager for 12 years, he welcomes the career change that combines his love for cooking with an opportunity to learn and grow.

Even as a youngster, Sean remembers watching public television cooking shows.

“Justin Wilson (Cajun chef on PBS) sucked me in, not just the cooking but the stories, and Miss Nancy (Verde’s owner) has stories,” he said.

Sean learned about The Culinary School from a flyer and felt “the timing was right.”

“I’m learning as I go. Chef Tim (Hunter, Chef Instructor) and Brenda (Palomo, Culinary Training Program Manager) have you prepared to jump into the fire. The whole staff, the curriculum, everything is excellent,” he said.

Chef Tim and Brenda also praised the way Sean has embraced the opportunity to move into a career in food service.

“Sean has a unique combination of culinary skill and a positive attitude that is extremely hard to find. I know he will continue to grow in the culinary field as he learns more, but you cannot teach anyone how to remain positive under pressure. You cannot teach how to have a sense of urgency, and Sean has that,” Brenda said.

Chef Tim said the internship at Verde seems like a great match.

“Sean is one of those guys who has the potential to be a good leader if he has the right guidance. It’s good to start out small. He’ll eventually get confidence to take on responsibilities,” he said.

Sean plans to stay on at Verde after he graduates on Aug. 5.

“I’m here, and I’m going to do what I can to help Miss Nancy grow her business,” he said.

The Culinary School program lasts a total of 14 weeks, 12 of which are spent on site at the food bank learning the basics, including but not limited to meat fabrication, cooking techniques, and soups and sauces, and studying for the ServSafe exam, as well as brushing up on Life Skills curriculum.

The next class in Milford begins on Aug. 18.

Learn more by visiting http://ow.ly/z94Uo

Leave a comment

Filed under The Culinary School