Seven students embark on new culinary careers
May 10, 2023
Bright smiles filled the room this morning for the second graduating class of The Kitchen School, a culinary training program for adults with intellectual disabilities.
This class affectionately referred to themselves as the A-Team!
A-Team members, Janelle, Giuseppe, Chyna, Anastasaya, Jonathan, Natalie and Jordan have spent the past 12 weeks learning all that they can about the culinary industry. Under the instruction of Chef Instructor Ron Roll, the students had fun navigating their way through an industrial kitchen. They took field trips, hosted lunch buffets in the Discover Cafe, and passed their ServSafe exams. They are all ready to start new, exciting careers in Delaware’s food service industry.
In addition to hands-on training in the Food Bank’s kitchen, Kitchen School staff, Tee Sanders, Bendu Collins and Antoine Brumble, assisted students in finding partner employers whose needs match their strengths. The team will also help with the transition into a permanent workplace.
“We have to make things work for you. And that’s what this program is all about,” said Food Bank of Delaware President and CEO Cathy Kanefsky. “You are going to get a job that fits you. You don’t have to fit in, the world has to fit in with you. I know that life is sometimes harder for you guys, but I also know what you guys bring to the table, you make the world so special.”
Chef Antimo DiMeo, Executive Chef and Co-Owner of Bardea Food & Drink provided inspiring keynote remarks. His cousin, Guiseppe, was among the graduates.
“Keep your eyes on the prize,” he advised. “Create that goal. Everyone hs a different path to reach that goal. As long as you stay focused and put in the hard work, never worry about what people are going to think about you.”
Each graduate also had a chance to address the audience; they were all thankful for their families.
“I would like to thank my family for supporting me on my special day,” said Janelle Benson.
Guiseppe Dimore added, “I want to thank everyone for being here to celebrate and support us. I am so happy that I did this program, and I get to use what I learned. I want to give a special thank you to my family that is here and to my mom who always pushes me to do my best.”
The free training program is made possible thanks to to a generous start-up grant from the Delaware Department of Labor as part of their TRAIN (Today’s Reinvestment Around Industry Needs) program. The next cohort in Newark begins in September; the Milford class will graduate in July. To learn more, visit www.fbd.org/thekitchenschool.
Congratulations to our graduates:
- Janelle Benson
- Giuseppe Dimore
- Chyna Fisher
- Anastasaya Hill
- Jonathan Isaac
- Natalie Kramer
- Jordan Taylor