Anthony Perez started the New Year by attending our 14-week culinary training employment program, The Culinary School, in Newark. Little did he know that the last weeks of class would be interuppted by a global pandemic. Anthony and his classmates celebrated their graduation in July – three months late – in a socially distanced outdoor graduation. Since graduation, Anthony has moved to Dover and obtained employment at Fraizer’s on the Water.
He started as a cook, but was quickly promoted to kitchen lead.
Anthony’s passion for food service is evident as he explains some of his favorite dishes from scratch to prepare. Pleasing his customers’ tastebuds is his number one priority. Among his favorites – baked chicken mozzeroni, a hot German pretzel sandwich and a spicy burger with jalapenos and a spicy aioli. The class’ curriculum on mother sauces and stocks helped Chef Anthony develop new homemade soups for the restaurant’s menu.
Anthony is thankful for the opportunity to attend The Culinary School. Although he had previous military and food service experience, The Culinary School refined his skills and gave him the confidence he needed after serving time.
Anthony knows he would not be in his current position as kitchen lead without the support of The Culinary School. “I would probably still find a job as a cook,” he says. “But I wouldn’t be in the position to take over a kitchen and create my own recipes. I have so much knowledge from the chefs who taught me.”
Despite graduating, Anthony is in constant communication with his instructor, Chef Tim Hunter, and Workforce Programs Manager Lisa Grinnage.
For students considering The Culinary School, Anthony advises, “Go do it if you have a passion for cooking and you want to pursue the culinary field. The chefs here – they really have a wealth of knowledge and I can say firsthand they will help you find a job… This is a great school. It’s amazing. I had a good wealth of knowledge, but I learned a lot more when I came here.”
Anthony encourages the current class to “soak up everything you can. Ask questions, be diligent and pay attention. Don’t just sit there and not do something. Ask Chef Tim a question. Ask Chef Tiarra about baking – she’s a baking wizard.”
Looking ahead to the future, Anthony hopes to still be at Fraizer’s five years from now. “My goal was to run a kitchen,” he says. And that’s exactly what he is doing.
To learn more about The Culinary School at the Food Bank of Delaware, please click here.