Culinary student pursues passion in retirement

February 19, 2021

Darryl Simms retired from Reagan National Airport after a 27-year career with the federal government. A trained electrician, Darryl was always interested in food service.

After receiving an email from the Food Bank of Delaware about a food distribution, he decided to check out the organization’s website where he learned more about the Delaware Food Works culinary training program.

“I checked into it. I have just been sitting around for years doing nothing, and my desire was to get into the food industry. Let me try this,” he thought.

The Culinary School has enabled Darryl to pursue his passion. He and his classmates are wrapping up week 11 of the 14-week training program, and he has already started working at Two Stones Pub in Middletown. The knowledge gained at The Culinary School helped him obtain this new employment as he starts a post-retirement career in food service.

“I wasn’t nervous or anything,” Darryl said. “The program is pointing me in the right direction.”

He will start with entry-level tasks and work his way up.

Darryl has enjoyed working under the guidance of Food Bank of Delaware Chef Instructor Tim Hunter and even wishes that the 14-week program was longer.

“Darryl is a great student,” said Hunter. “He is always willing to learn and will make sure he stays until it’s done right.”

While the COVID-19 pandemic has changed operations for The Culinary School, Darryl said he is impressed with the safety protocols that are in place and feels safe when he comes for in-person learning. He added that he hasn’t had any problems with remote learning, but prefers the in-person experiences.

Darryl enjoys cooking foods with a southern flare  – some of his favorites – okra and fried chicken.

He also really enjoys knife skillswork. “I thought I knew it all,” he admitted. “That really surprised me.”

Darryl and his classmates will graduate in March and his advice to students considering the program, “Do it. Just do it!”

To learn more about The Culinary School or to apply online for the next class starting March 22 in Newark and Milford, please click here.




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