By Chris Willis, Communications Intern
The Culinary School at the Food Bank of Delaware has been beneficial for many who have stepped through the doors of the kitchen. April Selby is evidence. Looking to expand her skills, April enrolled in The Culinary School at the urging of her daughter.
April’s experience has been rewarding so far. “It’s been a phenomenal experience,” she says. “I really have enjoyed it.”
Some skills she has been practicing include cutting, chopping, julienne and sauté.
She also has picked up tricks like saving leftovers that can be used for making fresh sauces and cooking down skins into fats to be used again. April has been a sponge to the teachings of Chef Instructor Sean McNeice.
Some of these teachings include being introduced to a commercial kitchen, learning culinary mathematics, basic cooking techniques, presentation and baking skills, knife handling basics, ServSafe® food safety skills and more.
Some of April’s fondest memories so far include participating in a food competition with fellow classmates. She presented a citrus chicken dish, and prior to the competition, she struggled with the dish, but that day she shined.
“Everyone was raving about my chicken sauce, and that made me feel like I’ve come into my element, which is a good feeling,” she said.
April’s favorite recipe to prepare is hollandaise sauce for its “fluff and great taste.”
Looking ahead to the future, April wants to use her skills in the culinary arts to improve the community.
“I like feeding the homeless and needy so now what I would do is to give them culinary dishes and let them enjoy them as that that may be their only opportunity to do so,” she says.
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. Since the school’s inception, The Culinary School has graduated more than 450 students. To learn more about The Culinary School, please visit http://www.fbd.org/the-culinary-school/.