By: Lindsey Hargett, Communications Intern
When Otis West enrolled at The Culinary School at the Food Bank of Delaware in February he did not expect to learn so much in such a short amount of time.
“I have always had a passion for cooking and I really wanted to do something I enjoyed. I heard about The Culinary School program and decided to go for it, it has been such a terrific opportunity so far,” he explained.
Before staring at The Culinary School, Otis was doing catering work and cooking at a bar.
“ It was fun for a while, but I felt that I needed to enhance my skills and learn how to cook a larger variety of food,” he said.
When asked what his favorite thing he has learned so far, Otis laughed and said “definitely Hollandaise sauce.” He recalls the first time he attempted to make the sauce before he was enrolled in class.
“The first time made it, I ended up with scrambled eggs in a pan,” Otis laughed. “But now I am a master after what I have learned here. The instructors teach you so much in such a short time frame, it is amazing. So now no more scrambled Hollandaise sauce!”
He also enjoys making Caribbean foods, especially curry chicken.
“Anything with a little kick is always fun to make,” he laughed. “If you can make people smile with your food, you are doing something right.”
In five years, Otis hopes to be the head chef at a restaurant or a business owner. He is confident in his abilities to achieve these goals because of “how much knowledge you get here; you are always learning.”
“I feel comfortable enough with what I have learned at The Culinary School that I could eventually open my own food business and be successful,” he said.
But in the short-term, Otis hopes to gain employment after finishing the training program. In his next job he hopes to have a greater knowledge of food preparation, kitchen safety and getting the exact art of cooking down.