Culinary student learns skills he plans to use in the future
October 27, 2022
Jeffrey Laplante came to the Food Bank of Delaware’s Culinary School in Milford with a bit of kitchen experience and a serious interest in cooking. He’s a young man who enjoys cooking at home too, especially a variety of pasta dishes. In fact, this Milford resident already works as a line cook in a chain restaurant, but he wants to learn how to be a pro. “I’ve always loved cooking,” he said.
The Culinary School is a 14-week training program that’s certified through the Delaware Department of Education. Students are prepared to enter careers in the food service industry with an opportunity to complete ServSafe® training as well.
He and his classmates spend 12 weeks in the classroom and the Food Bank’s professional training kitchen, and they’ll be off to two-week paid work experience before graduating in December. Chef Tish, his chef instructor, offered him the opportunity to serve his two-week work experience working as her assistant in the Food Bank’s kitchen.
“I want to become a great chef, to own my own restaurant,” Laplante added. His dream? First, a barbecue restaurant and then a fine dining restaurant. It will probably be in Florida; that’s where his family lives, and that’s where he eventually plans to return.
Since starting in this trade school in September, Laplante says he loves the experience of learning new things. He admits a bit of surprise in some of the new skills he has acquired. “Chopping, how to make soups, all about the mother sauces, and about cooking temperature-wise, about food safety. It’s just awesome.”
This student has nothing but praise for the Culinary School. “My experience here has been really great. I’ve always been fast, but now I’m more careful when I’m fast. And measuring, now I know how. I’ll need to know that for the future. I’m learning a lot of what I’ll need to know in a restaurant,” he said.
The Food Bank of Delaware’s Delaware Food Works workforce development program offers free training through our culinary training programs in Newark and Milford. The next class starts in January.
Tuition is paid through scholarships and generous grants. In addition, students may receive free transportation to attend class; gas cards are available for student drivers.
Click here for more information or to apply for this program.