Food Bank’s Culinary School offers opportunity to realize dream

November 5, 2021

Like many students who attend the Food Bank of Delaware Culinary Schools, Smyrna resident Charles Anderson took a big leaf of faith when he enrolled for the 14-week training course in August. Moving into the food service industry signified a huge lifestyle change; Anderson spent more than 20 years in health care as a business systems analyst.

As a man who already enjoyed cooking at home, he started with an internet search to see what culinary training programs were available nearby – the first step in moving toward a long-term goal of opening his own business.

Anderson – and his classmates – have already spent 12 weeks in the classroom and the Food Bank’s professional training kitchen, and later this week they’ll be off to two-week paid internships. He will be working in a Dover Downs restaurant, and he’s ready to tackle that challenge as well.

Why did he decide on the Food Bank’s Culinary School in Milford? “I found other culinary educations, but they were more in the classroom; I wanted more hands-on versus the classroom. I wanted to get my hands dirty and do some work,” he explained.

This student notes that while the training was enjoyable, like any educational experience, it was not without some hurdles. “It was challenging getting acclimated to the basics, following recipes, using new seasonings. It was also a challenge tasting something new. But it’s been great. We learned hands-on, and that’s the best way because we can try and have room for error,” he said.

And while mastering new skills, he continues to focus on the big picture and long-term goals. “I want to open my business, beginning from the ground up,” Anderson added. Right now, he’s exploring options and hasn’t decided on a definite vision. “This may marry it together; I’ll have a better idea. But once I leave here, I will be certified in food safety, and that’s good information I needed. I still don’t know what I would like to do.”

Meanwhile, Anderson’s eagerly anticipating the internship experience. “That may tell me where I belong. I am looking forward to cooking for customers where I can actually interact with customers,” he said.

The Food Bank of Delaware offers free training through our Culinary Schools in Newark and Milford. The next class starts on Monday, Dec. 6.

The Culinary School is a 14-week training program that’s certified through the Delaware Department of Education. Students are prepared to enter careers in the food service industry.

Tuition is paid through scholarships and generous grants. In addition, students may receive free transportation to attend class; gas cards are available for student drivers. Click here for more information or to apply for this program.

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