Culinary Student Spotlight: Leathia Cooper

May 24, 2016

By: Lindsey Hargett, Communications Intern

When Leathia Cooper left her full-time job as a correctional officer to pursue her love of cooking, she did not know what expect, but she was ready to take a leap of faith. She enrolled in The Culinary School at the Food Bank of Delaware in September of 2015.

“I was looking for an affordable culinary school. So, when I found this one, I read up on it and knew it was something I could do. It has been a faith walk, but I would not change a thing, I love what I am doing,” she said.

Leathia’s favorite part of the experience so far has just been learning how to cook different foods “ The hands-on experience you get here is so important for in the culinary industry,” she explained.

“I especially love the field trips. We went to a seafood restaurant and we got to see how they prepared fresh seafood and I tried things I never thought I would try,” she said.

In five years time, Leathia wants to have her own restaurant. She already has a name for it – Grantessa. The name has a special meaning to her because it combines all of her grandparents names together.

“I learned so much from them and The Culinary School, and I want to make them proud. I want to cut the ribbon of my own place –that would be such an accomplishment for me,” Leathia said.

Thanks to her culinary training, she hopes to get more creative with her cooking. She said she wants to learn to cook different foods and be able to share that food with others.

“I want people to have the opportunity to try new foods, just like I have gotten to do over the course of this program,” she said.

When asked about her favorite food to cook, she said “any kind of Thanksgiving food.”

“I love Thanksgiving. It is one of my favorite holidays,” she said. “Being able to cook a full Thanksgiving dinner for my family means so much to me.”

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