This morning we celebrated the accomplishments of the 39th graduating class of The Culinary School at the Food Bank of Delaware. Despite challenges, the 13 graduates persevered in order to successfully complete the 14-week training program.
Elaine Archangelo, Director of Delaware Social Services, provided inspiring keynote remarks for the morning ceremony. “Food service is an industry that requires hard work, but has many opportunities,” she said. “Move forward with confidence that you are ready and can move forward with your dreams.”
Under the instruction of Chef Instructor Sean McNeice, the students have spent the past 14 weeks developing their skills and passion for the culinary arts. From proper knife handling techniques to ServeSafe® certification, the students are prepared for entry-level jobs in the food industry. In addition to food service skills, the students have also learned resume writing, conflict resolution, financial literacy and other life skills.
“Empowering Delawareans is what we are all about here at the Food Bank of Delaware, “said President and CEO Patricia Beebe. “These 13 students have great talents and abilities. We know they will use them to make positive contributions in the culinary field.”
Class 39 had the opportunity to hold a cooking demo at the unveiling of the Food Bank’s new Bank of America Community Nutrition and Education truck, prepare and serve lunch for dignitaries, including Delaware’s Federal Delegation and Governor, at the launch of the new Delaware WONDER program and hosted a special JPMorgan Chase happy hour at the Coming Together conference on May 4.
Special guests who provided demonstrations for Class 39 include Anthony Carnavale from The Meat House in Chadds Ford, PA, Jim Berman from Gordon Food Service and more. Just yesterday, Chef Whit, owner of the Kapow food truck, stopped by to provide students a tour of the truck. Other activities included field trips to Woodside Farm Creamery in Hockessin, the Sysco food show, Restaurant Depot and more.
Of the 13 graduates, ten currently have obtained employment including positions at the Cheesecake Factory, Outback Steakhouse, 8th and Union, Little Sisters of the Poor, Two Stones and more.
Graduate Andre Coston said, “It’s been a long journey…you gotta get out of your comfort zone and learn and grow.”
For Ernest Morris, graduating from The Culinary School has been “one of his greatest accomplishments.”
Chaz Smith received a loud round of applause when he told the audience, “I’m a convicted felon with an opportunity. It feels good. It works, if you work it.”
Following the graduation ceremony, students prepared lunch for all. The menu included cheese steak macaroni and cheese balls, leg of lamb with tzatziki sauce, shells in crab sauce, garlic parmesan chicken, roasted parmesan sweet potatoes and more.
Congratulations to our graduates!
Most Dedicated – Brandon Spencer
Best Attitude – Chevon “Rocky” Brown
Highest GPA – Kelly Lawlor
The next Newark culinary class begins on June 1. Space is still available! To learn more, visit http://www.fbd.org/the-culinary-school/.