Four members of The Culinary School at the Food Bank of Delaware celebrated their achievements today during a graduation ceremony for the 25th class at the Food Bank’s Milford facility.
The graduates were Jennifer Bradley, Vernon Davis, Shaquille Goode, and Samantha Winchell. All of these graduates passed their ServSafe® certification, and all found employment through their 2-week work experience.
SoDel Concepts Chef Chris Parks was guest speaker for the event. The New Jersey native offered the graduates some common-sense advice as they start on their career path in one of Delaware’s 1,900 restaurants. “Be on time. Work your butts off. You’re going to start to learn your craft, and it’s a long process, but it’s an exciting time in this industry,” he said.
He also urged the new graduates to remain humble and to be kind. “Don’t be lazy. Don’t be late. Don’t be negative. Work hard, be dedicated to your craft, and have fun,” he added.
The Food Bank of Delaware’s Chief Programs Officer Charlotte McGarry; The Culinary School’s Executive Chef Tim Hunter; Chef Instructor Tish Badamshin, and Workforce Training Program Manager Ruthann Messick each offered congratulatory remarks as well.
The new graduates expressed gratitude for the opportunities they received during the 14-week program in which they developed their skills and passion for the culinary arts.
Shaquille Goode, who earned the highest GPA in the class, praised The Culinary School experience. “This program is amazing. They even provided transportation. This has been very beneficial, and I am very appreciative. These people really care, and I want to thank them for giving me this opportunity,” he said.
From proper knife handling techniques to Serve Safe certification and completing a two-week internship, the students are prepared for entry-level jobs in the food industry.
After the ceremony, graduates offered guests a lunch buffet they prepared and served. The menu included chicken teriyaki skewers, tikka masala fish, curried potatoes, roasted vegetables, salads, and desserts.
The mission of The Culinary School is two-fold. First students are taught skills that are highly desirable to employers in the food industry and second, these newly-developed skills have the potential to lead to jobs in the industry that provide job security and economic sustainability. The Culinary School is part of the Food Bank of Delaware’s Delaware Food Work’s workforce development initiative.
Students are referred to the program through the Department of Correction, Delaware Department of Labor, Delaware Division of Vocational Rehabilitation and other community-based organizations.
The next culinary class in Milford begins Tuesday, September 3. Applications are currently being accepted and student scholarships are available. To learn more, click here.