Culinary School Spotlight: Mike Cook

021314_TCS_Mike photoBy Gwen Guerke, Communications Coordinator

Someone with a sense of humor might say that calling someone Chef Cook is, well, redundant.

In the near future, Mike Cook, a student at our Culinary School at the Milford Branch, will probably have to deal with the punsters.

Mike, a Seaford resident and a Washington, D.C. native, will graduate with his class next month, and is looking forward to a career in the culinary world.

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 a Life Skills curriculum.

This man is no stranger to the business. Most recently, Mike was  a stay-at-home dad for his three sons, ranging in age from 4-13 years, but he also comes to school with extensive experience in the culinary business.

He worked the morning shift at Capt.’n  Pete’s Mediterranean Cove in Fenwick Island.

“I opened the restaurant, took in the shipments, made the sauce, portioned the fish and meats,” he said.

“I know how to frame a house, but this is what I want to do. I can’t see doing anything else,” Mike added.

At home, he also enjoys cooking for his family, including his wife, a family practice physician.

Their favorites are Italian and Greek dishes, a reflection of his family heritage, and include grilled octopus.

Mike said he’s enjoying the learning opportunities he’s experienced through The Culinary School.

“It’s more than I ever imagined, more than I had hoped for. Chef Tim’s excellent, and the camaraderie is great,” he said.

Chef Tim, Milford’s chef instructor, praised Mike as well.

“He’s been great. He had a lot of knowledge when he came. We’re just sharpening his skills,” the chef said.

During the last two weeks the students have the opportunity to take part in a paid internship at a restaurant, casino, hotel, or other business in the culinary industry. They not only are able to prove their skills and attain hands-on experience, but also they have a good chance of attaining full-time employment from the experience.

After graduation, Mike said he would like to work at Matt Haley’s Lupo di Mare Cucina Italiano in Rehoboth Beach.


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Filed under Milford Expansion, The Culinary School

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