Keenan: A Culinary Success Story

Here is Keenan with fellow classmate, Lupe Hernandez.

Last week we celebrated the 28th graduating class of our Culinary School.  After the students leave our classroom for employment in the culinary industry, we have high expectations that they’ll find and maintain employment or further their career training. Regardless of our students’ career or education track, our door is always open for students to return to for support. Since our first class in 2002, more than 230 students have graduated, and there are numerous success stories!

Keenan Midgett’s story is just one of hundreds of culinary success stories at the Food Bank of Delaware!

Prior to becoming a student at The Culinary School, Keenan spent a significant amount of time volunteering at the Food Bank with Networks, the entrepeneurial sciences school within the Christina School District. Through his volunteer experience at the Food Bank, Keenan learned more about the offerings of The Culinary School and decided a career in the culinary arts was right for him.

He says the life skills training and hands-on kitchen training he received through the school helped him prepare for employment. In addition to the culinary and life skills, he also learned about the importance of teamwork. Of all the skills learned during the 12-week training, Keenan enjoyed the advanced knife skills the most.

Keenan found much success at The Culinary School. In addition to being honored for perfect attendance at his graduation ceremony, he also received the JPMorgan Chase Most-Dedicated Award!

When Keenan could not find employment in the food service industry immediately after graduation, he did not become discouraged and quit his search. While actively seeking employment in the culinary field, Keenan spent his time volunteering in the Food Bank kitchen helping our kitchen staff prepare thousands of meals a day for children in need and continuing to improve his skills.  

Last week, our culinary department announced that Keenan would soon be leaving the Food Bank in order to pursue a full-time job as a prep/utility cook.

The Culinary School was impactful says Keenan. “The school changed my life by giving me more confidence and allowing me to learn to prioritize. In addition, the life skills taught me how to interview and be confident, which helped me land a job.”

 He encourages future students to learn all that they can while at school because students are taught a lot about cooking and life. In addition, he advises future students to always show up for school so they do not miss out and always participate.

“We are so proud of Keenan,” said Food Bank of Delaware Executive Chef Tim Hunter. “Keenan has come a long way in our program and has worked hard to improve his culinary skills. In addition to his development in the culinary arts, I am truly impressed by Keenan’s professionalism and his improved confidence. We wish Keenan the best of luck in this next phase of his culinary career. Our door is always open for Keenan and other students.”

To learn more about The Culinary School, please contact Rick Carter, Culinary Arts Program Manager at rcarter@fbd.org.

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