Category Archives: The Culinary School

Culinary Student Spotlight: Erik Korona

0929_Eric_spotlight1For Eric Korona, a student in The Culinary School at the Milford Branch, the educational experience goes beyond the kitchen and classroom because his association with the training program also created a connection to part-time employment.

Eric, 46, is a Dover resident who knows all too well how tough today’s economy is. He was unemployed for a more than a year, volunteering to keep his SNAP benefits coming in, while searching unsuccessfully for work.

His lack of formal training and health issues connected to Type 1 diabetes caused prospective employers to reject him, he said.

While interviewing for some jobs, he was also told he was overqualified for some positions.

No matter what the reason, he still wasn’t able to land a job, something he wanted not only for himself, but also to help support his elderly mother.

On informal advice from a friend, he knocked on the door of the Division Vocational Rehabilitation Services at the state unemployment office. There he learned that he was eligible for training at The Culinary School.

“I came here and talked to Brenda (Milford’s program manager), and Chef (Tim Hunter, Chef Instructor) showed me around the first day. I was impressed. I got approved, and here I am,” he said.

Milford’s fourth class at The Culinary School started Aug. 25, and Chik-fil-A, a Georgia-based restaurant, opened here on Sept. 10. Because of his connections with the Food Bank of Delaware, Eric was one of four students hired.

He’s now at school from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m., then he heads to the restaurant to work from 4-9 p.m.

“I’m learning their procedures and implementing what I’m learning here. My culinary school comes first. I don’t want to waste the money that’s being spent on me,” he said.

Eric says he enjoys the learning environment provided at The Culinary School.

“This week, I’m the sous chef. I’m second in charge under the chef. I assign jobs, and I have to make sure everything is done the way the chef wants it done,” he explained.

Under the instruction of Food Bank of Delaware Chef Instructor Tim Hunter, the students spend 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 will be prepared for entry-level jobs in the food industry.

“Eric has thrown himself into his culinary studies whole-heartedly. He is always eager to volunteer new ideas and try new recipes. He has an admirable work ethic and will stop at nothing to get things done that he feels need to get done. He brings quite the character to our fourth Milford culinary class,” said Chef Hunter

In addition to learning hands-on skills in the Food Bank’s industrial-sized kitchen, the students take field trips to food processing plants and urban food markets.

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.

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.

For more information, visit http://www.fbd.org/the-culinary-school/.

 

 

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Food Bank of Delaware receives $29,000 from the Potter Trust at the CenDel Foundation

0921_CenDel_ checkThe Culinary School at the Food Bank of Delaware’s Milford branch was the recipient of a generous donation of $29,000 from the Potter Trust from the CenDel Foundation.

The check was presented by Donna D. Stone, Delaware Community Foundation senior vice president for Central Delaware, to Patricia Beebe, Food Bank of Delaware CEO, Chef Instructor Tim Hunter, Culinary Program Training Manager Brenda Palomo and students from the fourth culinary class at the Milford Branch.

“When the Food Bank applied for funding for sending individuals, many of whom may have been incarcerated or on the edges of survival, to their Culinary School training program we thought this was a good fit,” said Kathleen Hawkins, president of CenDel’s Potter Trust grant committee. “The program gives individuals the opportunity to learn a trade and to be able to support themselves,” she said.

The Potter Trust was established by Col. Benjamin Potter, through his will in 1843, when he evidenced great concern for children who were orphaned, for young men that they develop a trade to support themselves, and for families who were on the verge of being sent to the “poorhouse.”

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.

Under the instruction of Food Bank of Delaware Chef Instructor Tim Hunter students spend 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 training program prepares students for entry-level jobs in the food industry.

To learn more about The Culinary School at the Food Bank of Delaware, visit http://www.fbd.org/the-culinary-school/.

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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/.

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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.”

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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/.

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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

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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.

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