The Newark culinary class is currently in week five of fourteen, but student Andre Coston is already looking forward to his two-week internship starting in week 12 and full-time employment upon graduation.
After being laid off from his position at a local nonprofit as an assistant clinician, Andre learned about the training opportunity through the Department of Labor. He was thankful to have received a scholarship to attend the program.
“I liked what I did before, but I didn’t love it,” he said. “I really love to cook, so I am ready for a career change. I came to the realization at 42 years old, that until it is time to retire, I will pursue a career in the culinary field.”
So far, Andre has learned about basic kitchen skills such as knife handling, time and temperature.
His newly-developed skills will not only help him gain future employment, but are helping now in his day-to-day life. He currently cares for his 90-year-old grandfather.
“His wife passed away in August, so he is very dependent on me,” he explained. “He doesn’t walk and goes to dialysis three times a week. I cook all of his meals. He loves my cooking.”
Some of his favorite dishes to prepare include lasagna and anything with seafood.
“After graduation I want to be somewhere where there is room for growth and where I can learn and move up to an executive chef – that is my goal – to be an executive chef in a hotel or a fine dining establishment,” he said.
Until then, Andre is focused on learning more in class and upgrading his skills.
To learn more about The Culinary School, please visit http://www.fbd.org/the-culinary-school/.