“Take a chance.” Student urges others to sign up for culinary training

October 1, 2021

Bridgeville resident Adam Carpenter loves to cook so much that he decided to take his fast-food working experience to the next level – formal training in the culinary arts.

Adam quickly realized that education comes with a price tag, and that’s when he discovered the Food Bank of Delaware’s free Culinary School in Milford. “I looked into an accelerated school in culinary arts, and the others were too far away and too expensive,” he said.

More than six weeks into the 14-week training program, Adam’s quite pleased with the education and the experience he’s been gaining. Meanwhile, he still loves to cook and prepares meals for his family, but his specialty? Homemade donuts!

Since homemade donuts – for some – may fall into a specialty category and require some skill, Adam admits some of his self-taught experiments may have been less than successful.

“I tried the yeast variety, but they were finicky,” he reports.  So, like any good chef, he decided to take another approach with the recipe, and he tried cake donuts, specifically apple cider donuts. It’s no surprise that these were deliciously successful. The cake donuts were deep fried, then finished by rolling them in cinnamon and sugar or topping with a home-made apple cider glaze.

Of course, as a student at the Food Bank of Delaware’s Culinary School, Adam will experience opportunities to train for a culinary career and hone his baking skills.  With commercial kitchens and a state-approved workforce development program, he attends daily classes under the direction of Chef Tish, a professional chef instructor.

The Culinary School is a 14-week program for unemployed, underemployed, ex-offenders, individuals with disabilities and those in career transition that teaches basic and high-end kitchen skills, ServSafe ® training, and life skills, culminating with a 2-week, paid work experience.

“I’m learning a lot from Chef Tish, how to do things right,” he said. For Adam, that’s important personally, as well in his future profession. “I’m learning fabrication, that it’s cheaper to do it yourself, so it can help financially.”

And Adam has also experienced some success in the school’s learning activities: his double-batter, ghost pepper friend chicken won first in a class cook-off competition. And his recipe? “Well, the thought just occurred to me. We used whatever we had available. It turned out pretty well. I was surprised. I heard a lot of murmuring,” he said.

And he has a bit of advice for those considering the Food Bank’s Culinary School in the future. “If you’re going to join the culinary industry, it can be really hard work, but it you work hard you can be successful. I tell people to take a chance, even if it’s intimidating,” he said.

Visit www.fbd.org to learn more about The Culinary School and Delaware Food Works training programs.

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