Culinary Student Spotlight: Andre Coston

February 24, 2015

Andre ColstonThe Newark culinary class is currently in week five of fourteen, but student Andre Coston is already looking forward to his two-week internship starting in week 12 and full-time employment upon graduation.

After being laid off from his position at a local nonprofit as an assistant clinician, Andre learned about the training opportunity through the Department of Labor. He was thankful to have received a scholarship to attend the program.

“I liked what I did before, but I didn’t love it,” he said. “I really love to cook, so I am ready for a career change. I came to the realization at 42 years old, that until it is time to retire, I will pursue a career in the culinary field.”

So far, Andre has learned about basic kitchen skills such as knife handling, time and temperature.

His newly-developed skills will not only help him gain future employment, but are helping now  in his day-to-day life. He currently cares for his 90-year-old grandfather.

“His wife passed away in August, so he is very dependent on me,” he explained. “He doesn’t walk and goes to dialysis three times a week. I cook all of his meals. He loves my cooking.”

Some of his favorite dishes to prepare include lasagna and anything with seafood.

“After graduation I want to be somewhere where there is room for growth and where I can learn and move up to an executive chef – that is my goal – to be an executive chef in a hotel or a fine dining establishment,” he said.

Until then, Andre is focused on learning more in class and upgrading his skills.

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