Newark Delaware Food Works culinary student Sarah Rotenberry aspires to own her own restaurant. She envisions a menu that features homestyle comfort foods, like chicken and dumplings and pistachio-crusted fish, with a unique and elegant twist.
Sarah has worked at the Blue Crab Grill in Newark for more than 10 years and has been in the food service industry for more than 16. Her experience has always been in front-of-the-house positions.
To make her dream of owning a restaurant a reality, she graduated from Delaware Technical and Community College with a Business Management and Hospitality degree three years ago.
Her final step towards restaurant ownership – learning the ins and outs of the industrial kitchen. That’s where the Food Bank of Delaware’s Delaware Food Works Culinary School steps in.
“I’ve learned a lot,” she says. “Like the proper techniques of cooking… that’s why I came here. I never knew there was an order to how you are supposed to be cooking. That’s been really helpful.”
Sarah says her execution of food has improved tremendously. “I have learned a lot so I can help others. If I didn’t know the correct way of doing things – how am I supposed to help my employees?,” she points out.
Sarah admits she is still working on her knife skills, and The Culinary School has afforded her the opportunity to read more and learn as much as she can. “I am wanting to learn more. It’s given me a bit of challenge, as I haven’t done this in a professional manner,” she says.
On Saturday, Sarah will take what she has learned in the classroom and kitchen setting and apply it to a real restaurant kitchen as she starts working alongside chefs at the Blue Crab Grill.
She is grateful for the opportunity to learn at The Culinary School.
“This is the real deal,” Sarah says. “Chef Tim is a wonderful person to work under. He provides that knowledge and experience for you. He is there to be super helpful, and there are many ways to learn from him. Being in this kitchen setting is very eye opening.”
The next class of The Culinary School begins March 22, and Sarah encourages those who want to pursue their passion to apply, “Do it. If you are into food and into experimenting, food is such a great science. There are endless ideas and opportunities in the kitchen. I think this is a great place to learn.”
To learn more about The Culinary School and to apply online for the March 22 class, click here.