Crystal Tucker learned about The Culinary School at the Food Bank of Delaware through the Delaware WONDER program.
Delaware WONDER (Work Opportunity Networks to Develop Employment Readiness) is led by Delaware Health and Social Services Division of Social Services (DHSS), which administers the SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) Program in Delaware. It offers targeted career tracks in construction, culinary arts, manufacturing and broad-based job placement.
Crystal chose the culinary track because she loves to cook. “I was so excited,” she says. “I love it here.” Some of her favorite dishes to prepare include smothered pork chops and chicken and baked spaghetti.
Born in Kansas and raised in Oklahoma, Crystal moved to Delaware about a year ago from Atlanta. While living in Atlanta, she worked in a kitchen, so she started class at The Culinary School with some experience.
Despite experience, Crystal quickly realized that her techniques were not correct.
“I thought I was doing it right, but I was just doing my own thing,” she admits. “Things you think you know, you really don’t know. You find out the correct way to do it and it’s so much safer and easier.”
So far, Crystal has enjoyed cutting whole chickens, baking cookies and participating in special events.
“I love to bake,” she says.
Now in week 11 of training, Crystal has already accepted a position with University of Delaware Dining Services. She will start her new job this month when the students return.
As she prepares for starting her new job and graduation in September, Crystal remains focused on the future. Five years from now, she hopes to own multiple food trucks specializing in lunchtime foods like soups, salads and sandwiches.
Crystal is thankful for the opportunity to attend The Culinary School and encourages others who are interested in a career in food service to pursue their passion. “Go for it. Reach for the stars. Life is what you make it. Do it, because it’s a great opportunity,” she advises.
Interested in a career in the food service industry? The next class of The Culinary School in both Newark and Milford begins Monday, September 25. Click here to learn more or to apply online.