Thirteen students graduate from The Culinary School at the Food Bank of Delaware

We celebrated the accomplishments of thirteen students from The Culinary School this morning at a graduation ceremony held at our Newark facility!

Department of Labor Cabinet Secretary John McMahon addressed the students and praised them for their commitment to furthering their educations. “We cannot rest on our laurels,” he advised. “No matter where we are, we need to upgrade our skills…If the best of the best are constantly honing their skills, shouldn’t we?”

Under the instruction of our Chef Instructor Mark Saunders, students have spent the past 14 weeks developing their passion for the culinary arts. From proper knife handling techniques to sautéing and food safety skills, the students are prepared for entry-level jobs in the culinary arts.

In addition to their time in the kitchen and classroom, the students also worked to develop their skills by participating in an internship at local food service businesses, catered our Dinner in the Orchard event at T.S. Smith & Sons in Bridgeville and the annual Blue Jean Ball held in the Newark warehouse.

“This class really bonded,” said Chef Mark. “I love to see the students develop their cooking skills, but I also love to see the friendships that are formed.”

“My experience gave me the ability to expand my culinary skills.  It also gave me a better understanding of management techniques and financial organization through the Life Skills curriculum,” said graduate Steven Coverdale.

Following the graduation ceremony, students showed off their newly-developed skills and prepared lunch for all. Guests enjoyed a festive apple and spinach salad, beef roulade with demi-glace sauce, herb-baked chicken, macaroni and cheese, roasted garlic mashed potatoes, chocolate mousse, cheesecake, strawberry cake and more.

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. 

Congratulations to all of our graduates!

Cameron Archie
Matthew Brown
Michelle Coleman
Steven Coverdale
Ernest Dreuitt
James Dumpson
Isaiah Gibson
David Hammond
 Sameerah James
Vernon Norton
Stefanie O’Brien
Douglas Walker
Christopher Younger

The following students were also honored for special achievements:

Perfect Attendance: Cameron Archie, James Dumpson, Stephanie O’Brien

Leadership Award: David Hammond

Best Attitude: Douglas Walker

Highest GPA: Douglas Walker

To learn more about The Culinary School at the Food Bank of Delaware, please visit

Check out some pictures from today’s celebration!


1 Comment

Filed under Programs, The Culinary School

One response to “Thirteen students graduate from The Culinary School at the Food Bank of Delaware

  1. Jorge

    Great Job Mark and Sonia!
    Congratulations on a job well done. Jorge

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