Culinary Alumni Spotlight: Ernest Morris

October 20, 2015

By John Esposito, Communications Intern

When we were children many  of us had dreams of becoming firefighters, astronauts or the President of the United States. However, many of us never pursued our passions that were once strong enough to put a smile on anyone’s face when we talked about our dreams.   What stopped us from dreaming to reach the stars or saving people’s lives? Did we believe that it was not possible for us to fulfill those tasks? One man defies these questions and had the power to elicit a steady smile from his audience on September 30th, 2015.

Ernest Morris recently graduated from The Culinary School at the Food Bank of Delaware. He is now employed at the Cheesecake Factory at the Christiana Mall. I had a chance to meet him before his shift as a prep cook to talk about his passion, dream, and career at the popular restaurant.

Ernerst’s experience at The Culinary School was very impactful. “It was one of the best moments of my life besides my kids being born,”he explained. “The Culinary School prepared me because it showed me numerous styles of cutting food, preparing the food to be safely consumed and so much more.”

The training received through The Culinary School, especially the opportunity to become ServSafe certified, prepared Ernest for the day-to-day tasks at The Cheesecake Factory. “I am a prep cook at the Cheesecake Factory; I help prepare the meals and ensure that the food is safe to consume.”

Thanks to The Culinary School, Ernest is able to have a career in a field he is passionate about. “I decided to become a chef when I was little; I used to always love cooking so my passion followed me from such a young age,” he said.

Throughout our entire interview, Ernest’s smile never faded.

His constant smile made me begin to think, “Why was he smiling so much? Is there something on my face? Or was it the possibility that I was asking the wrong questions?” The reason for Ernest’s smile didn’t hit me until the very end of the interview. It was pride, happiness, and accomplishment that kept that smile on his face.

When I shook Ernest’s hand I felt a man who worked hard to get to the position he was in and a man who fulfilled his childhood dreams. Ernest is the true meaning of shooting for the stars and following your goals.

It is possible for you to fulfill your dreams in the food service industry  as well! The Culinary School at the Food Bank of Delaware provides valuable job training to adults. The 14-week program includes 12 weeks (daytime hours) of hands-on training in basic and high-end kitchen skills, safe food handling, and life skills. Apply today at:


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