Milton resident learns new skills, lands job through Culinary School

November 5, 2018

Lakesha Williams personifies that old adage that when one door closes, a window opens.

After the Milton resident faced a lay off from a plant, she applied for temporary Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP/ formerly food stamps) benefits from the state.

Her social worker suggested Lakesha consider the Food Bank of Delaware’s Culinary School, a workforce development program and an opportunity to acquire new skills. The state Department of Health and Social Services funds her education and training through the Delaware WONDER program.

The Culinary School is a 14-week program for unemployed or underemployed people, including ex-offenders and those with disabilities. The program teaches basic and high-end kitchen skills, ServSafe ® training, and culminates in a two-week paid internship.

The Food Bank of Delaware offers this food service training in both Milford and Newark; students receive both classroom and hands-on kitchen instruction.

“I always wanted to do culinary,” said Lakesha, who says she enjoys cooking at home for her family. “Coming here, I’ve learned better ways to season. I’m learning to make sauces from scratch, and I enjoy that.”

She also praised Chef Tish, her instructor.

“She (Chef Tish) is a great instructor. She gives us a different perspective. When I had trouble learning cutting, she helped with my knife skills. I’ve learned a lot,” said Lakesha.

Lakesha has also mastered entry-level skills to gain part-time employment at Lupo Italian Kitchen – an award-winning SoDel Concepts restaurant – in Rehoboth Beach. That’s a win-win for everyone!

Click here to learn more about the Food Bank and Culinary School opportunities.

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