Culinary School success opens door for successful career change

April 30, 2018

It’s safe to say that most people aren’t quite as happy to be at work as David Cassey.

A May 2016 graduate of the Food Bank of Delaware’s Culinary School in Milford, David is the person who makes the pasta at Lupo Italian Kitchen on Rehoboth Avenue, Rehoboth Beach.

Making the pasta at this eatery means just that: creating fresh pasta every day from the proper proportions of semolina flour and water, extruding the shapes, portioning them. After all, the restaurant is one of SoDel Concepts critically acclaimed, highly rated dining destinations.

David describes his work as “fun, a whole new experience.” This Pennsylvania native moved to the Lewes area with his parents, and comes from a family business of opticians. He worked in that profession for awhile, but he was looking for a different job opportunity.

He enrolled in our Culinary School, a 14-week workforce development program that includes classroom and kitchen skills, plus a two-week paid internship. David’s internship at Lupo landed him this job after his graduation.

Chef Chris Parks praised David’s work ethic and his willingness to learn new skills.

“He started washing dishes, but then we trained him on the pasta extruder. It’s part of the prep,” Chris said, noting that Lupo serves a variety of pasta shapes, 24-30 – to be exact.

In addition, David puts away the deliveries and preps vegetables and herbs for the chefs. On a recent day, he was shaving Brussel sprouts, cutting artichokes, and also making pasta.

“I learned food safety at the Food Bank, and I learned to use cutting gloves for chopping things. The knife skills are important for cutting things, like the Brussels,” he added.

David says he likes his co-workers who are very supportive.

“I like getting to know everybody. I like trying new things. I couldn’t be happier. This is like my family,” he said.
The relationships are mutually respectful, the chef explained.

“We love having him here. He brings positive energy and good vibes in the kitchen. From where he started to where he is now is awesome. He is not afraid to try new things, and he is reliable and dependable,” Chris said.

“My favorite thing is everything. Learning, learning what the line cooks do. Every day I do my best,” David said.
The Food Bank is very proud of David’s successes.

For more information on The Culinary School at the Food Bank of Delaware, please click here. New classes are starting in Milford and Newark on May 14.

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