Alumni Spotlight: Max Saunders
March 25, 2016
The Culinary School was the saving grace Max Saunders was looking for.
After spending five-and-a-half years in incarceration, Max was ready for a fresh start. He enrolled in The Culinary School and rediscovered his passion for cooking.
With The Culinary School’s 14-week training program and ServSafe certification under his belt, Max is now working as a sous chef at the Texas Roadhouse on Route 40 in Bear.
Working alongside the restaurant’s assistant manager, Max delegates the entire kitchen.
“I didn’t start on salad, fryer, or cold prep, I went right to the window calling out the orders,” he said.
While other line cooks start out making $8.25 or $8.50 an hour, Max was immediately bumped up to $12/hour thanks to the credentials he earned at The Culinary School and previous restaurant experience.
“My credentials helped me make more money,” he said.
Max loves the past-paced nature of the kitchen and recommends the Texas Roadhouse’s fresh-cut steaks and chili.
Max credits The Culinary School for giving him something productive. “The Culinary School really helped me. I haven’t even been home [from prison] for 90 days, and I am working and running a kitchen,” he says.
Max is thankful not only for the culinary skills learned, but also life skills such as nutrition education, financial coaching and more.
“Collectively, this is the place to be,” he explains. “This is a second home. You develop a family and bond with these people.”
Max is committed to staying on the right track. “Right now I am about to enroll in night classes in entrepreneurship at DelTech,” he says.
Looking down the short-term road, Max says, “I want to finish school, get off probation, keep working, save up some money and keep moving forward.”
Long-term, he hopes to franchise his own restaurant one day. “That’s my ultimate goal,” he says.
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