Nine graduates lauded for accomplishments after completing Food Bank Culinary School training

December 1, 2021

Nine members of The Culinary School at the Food Bank of Delaware’s Milford site celebrated their achievements today during a graduation ceremony.

The sounds of cow bells and applause filled the air as families and friends cheered on their graduates.

The new graduates are: Charles Anderson, Doug Anderson, Eric Bailey, Adam Carpenter, Nishemia Crain, Juan Gross, Alyssa Hinton, Sonja Taylor, and Jeff Temple.

The Food Bank of Delaware’s President and CEO Cathy Kanefsky praised the graduates for starting – and completing – their training. “We are so proud of you. This year really puts things in a different light, doesn’t it? You took the first step,” she said. All nine graduates passed the ServSafe ® exam, she told the audience. “For them, the sky’s the limit.”

Harrington Raceway and Casino’s Executive Director of Food & Beverage D.J. Silicato offered keynote remarks. Silicato, who started his career sweeping restaurant floors at age 14, then worked up the career ladder washing dishes, as well as other jobs in the food service world, including distribution. He urged the new graduates to “listen and be open minded, to be hands on, and latch onto a mentor.”

Silicato spoke of his personal passion and his love for the industry. “Food and beverage to me is family. Welcome to the club,” he said.

Under the instruction of Food Bank of Delaware Chef Instructor Tish Badamshin and Executive Chef Tim Hunter and the guidance of Michelle Cephas, Workforce Program Coordinator, the students spent the past 14 weeks developing their skills and passion for the culinary arts. From proper knife handling techniques to ServSafe ® certification and completing a two-week work experience, the students are prepared for entry-level jobs in the food industry.

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

Upon receiving their certificates of completion, each new graduate had an opportunity to address the audience and thank their supporters.

“This allowed me the opportunity to explore my dream and vision,” said graduate Charles Anderson.

“We are finally here,” said Adam Carpenter to his classmates. “I was astonished to see how much we have changed, how much we’ve learned, and how much we’ve grown. I am absolutely honored to have worked with all of you.”

The Culinary School at the Food Bank of Delaware provides valuable job training to adults. The 14-week program includes 12 weeks (day-time hours) of hands-on training in basic and high-end kitchen skills, safe food handling and life skills. The 12-week training culminates with a two-week paid work experience at a food service company, restaurant or catering company. The school is a certified trade school by the Delaware Department of Education.

To learn more about the free training program at the Food Bank of Delaware, visit

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