Eight students from The Culinary School at the Food Bank of Delaware will start 2016 with new careers in the food service industry. A graduation program was held this morning at the Newark warehouse to celebrate the accomplishments of the graduates.
After completing the 14-week training program, the group is now prepared for entry-level jobs in the food service industry. Since early October, the students have spent time honing their knife and sauté skills, learning basic skills such as culinary mathematics, proper kitchen techniques and more.
Two of the 14 weeks were spent interning at local food service businesses. These businesses include La Fia, Cocina Lolo, Locale BBQ Post, 8th & Union and Café Services.
In addition to skills needed for the kitchen, the students also learned important life skills such as financial literacy through the $tand By Me program, conflict resolution, interviewing, resume writing and more.
Chip Rossi, Delaware Market President for Bank of America provided keynote remarks for the ceremony. He reflected on his own past and how those experiences helped shape who he is today.
“As you now leave the program and embark on a bright career in the food industry, never forget where you came from….your experiences and accomplishments have helped to shape and define who you are. And when I look around, I see a group of people who should be very proud of what they have accomplished,” he said.
In addition to work in both the kitchen and classroom, the students worked with chefs from Iron Hill Brewery and Restaurant for the annual Blue Jean Ball, catered Bank of America’s Neighborhood Builder reception, learned pasta-making techniques from guest speaker Jim Berman from Gordon Food Service, fish filet knife skills from Chef David Nolker from Delaware Technical and Community College and more.
Graduate Emon Evans credited the program for helping him focus and find what’s important in life. “People expected us to stay down, but we are on our way up,” he said to classmates and guests.
“It’s a new year and an opportunity for a fresh start,” said Food Bank of Delaware President and CEO Patricia Beebe. “We know the skills learned here at The Culinary School will provide the necessary foundation for success in the food service industry.”
Following the graduation ceremony, students prepared lunch for all. The buffet menu included pulled barbeque chicken sliders, roast beef, honey Dijon salmon and maple brown sugar salmon, lobster mac and cheese, lemon butter garlic broccoli, cinnamon buns, strawberry shortcake and more!