Culinary School Spotlight: Stephanas Stratton

July 26, 2023

By Rebekah Cheong, Bank of America Student Leader

From Virginia to Delaware, Stephanas Stratton (23) wants to share his passion by cooking for others – cooking skills he has learned from the Food Bank of Delaware. Originally from Virginia, Steph learned about this program from a family friend who positively recommended the program. Now that he is in the program, Steph considers the techniques taught by the Food Bank kitchen staff incredibly useful, and feels equipped with these skills to take more risks in his dishes. 

Steph is a current Culinary Program student who is on his eighth week of this 12 week program, and has confidently passed his midterms which were just a few short weeks ago. For their midterm task, students were asked to incorporate Scrapple, a mesh of pork scraps and cornmeal, into a delicious dish. For his dish, Steph decided to take a spin on his signature dish — the pork katsu. Instead of pork, Steph envisioned the dish with scrapple, placing the scrapple katsu on a bed of rice. The pork katsu was the first dish Steph decided on cooking for himself at home once starting the program, saying it “felt good to make something personal.” 

Over the course of the Culinary Program, Steph described the impact the Food Bank has had on his range of culinary skills as wonderful. Steph not only learned a lot of skills that are “simple and complex at the same time,” but what ingredients to add, why to add it, and exactly what those ingredients do in a dish. The Food Bank’s Culinary Program provides more room for students, such as Steph, to customize and for Steph to “personalize his favorite dishes.” Above all, the precision required for knife cuts and the various stirring techniques have been Steph’s favorite parts of the Culinary Program. 

After this program, Steph plans on moving back to Virginia, starting a restaurant close to home. Around his hometown, Steph describes the restaurant scene as limited, only catering many large chain restaurants. There are “not many places to eat” and not many family eateries. Ultimately, Steph hopes to open a restaurant where he can explore different cultural cuisines, gaining a better understanding of new skills and techniques along the way. Thanks to the Food Bank, Steph feels more confident in embarking on his future in the culinary arts, recommending the Culinary Program for anyone who enjoys or wants to learn how to cook. 


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