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


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