Eight students from the Newark Delaware Food Works culinary class celebrated their completion of the 14-week training program this morning at a graduation ceremony.
The students have spent the past 14 weeks learning the ins and outs of the food service industry. From soups and stocks to mother sauces and knife skills, the students have the knowledge they need to begin their careers in the food service industry.
This morning’s graduates included: Isaiah Beaufort, Nathaniel Frisby, Crystal Lake, Troy Moaney, Kelly Otto, Tywanda Simmons, Jennifer Tibbetts and Christopher Williams.
“This is a great holiday gift,” said Food Bank of Delaware President and CEO Patricia Beebe. “These students are going to make restaurants proud.”
In addition to successfully completing the program, all of the students passed the ServSafe exam, administered nationally by the National Restaurant Association.
Executive Chef Tim Hunter commended the students for their hard work and diligence. “This is not an easy program, but you guys made it,” he said. “This is just the beginning of your journey. You have what you need to excel in this industry. You are now part of the Food Bank family, stop by and see us and know that we are always here to help you.”
Chef Jim Berman, Corporate Executive Chef for Samuels Seafood in Philadelphia, provided keynote remarks and asked the students to remember three things from today. They were:
- “Surround yourself with good people.”
- He pointed out that there are 162 baseball games in a major league season. “Most teams win at least 54 games and most teams lose at least 54 games. What are you going to do with your final 54 games? It’s what you do with those final 54,” he said.
- “Your own history is to live a great story. What are you going to do that’s going to be great?”
In addition to hands-on work in the Food Bank’s industrial kitchen, the students also learned skills like resume writing and interviewing thanks to a partnership with Barclays, financial literacy through the $tand By Me program, conflict resolution, team work and more.
Graduate Crystal Lake said, “I didn’t think I would be able to finish. I learned a lot… I am just overwhelmed. I thank everyone who pushed me.” Crystal’s son, Rory Price, graduated from The Culinary School in 2014. He attended today’s graduation to support his mom. He is currently a baker at Panera Bread.
In addition to spending 12 weeks in the kitchen and classroom, the students also had the opportunity to participate in a two-week paid work experience.
Students had work experiences at Barclays, the Food Bank’s Discover Cafe, Bellevue Senior Center, High 5 Hospitality and Two Stones.
Graduate Chris Williams told guests that his brother had pushed him to enroll in the program and that he had never graduated high school. “This is the first time my mom got to see me graduate,” he said. “This is for you mom.”
Several students were honored at the ceremony including:
- Kelly Otto, Highest GPA and Top Kitchen Final Award
- Troy Moaney, Hardest Worker Award
- Crystal Lake, Best Attendance Award
- Nathaniel Frisby, Crystal Lake and Chris Williams, Teamwork Award
The next culinary class at the Food Bank of Delaware in Newark and Milford begins Monday, January 13. Classes take place Monday-Friday from 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Funding is available for the daytime training program. Click here to learn more or to apply online.