Uncovering student potential at Ferris School

April 25, 2019

Uncovering students’ potential and passion is the goal of Food Bank of Delaware Chef Instructor Derrill Stewart’s culinary class at the Ferris School for Boys. Thanks to a partnership with the school, Chef Derrill teaches several periods of culinary arts each day at Ferris. For this Chef Instructor, the class is about more than culinary arts, it’s about inspiring students to focus on excelling, especially when their time at Ferris is up.

The opportunity to attend Chef Derrill’s culinary class is an incentive for students who are doing well.

On this particular day, the young men were busy at the cook top sauteing peppers, onions and chicken for chicken quesadillas. Each young chef put his own twist on the traditional chicken quesadilla. As the students sauteed the ingredients, Chef Derrill shared insight on cooking techniques, tricks of the trade, but most importantly – life.

“When you get out of here, you need to stay focused on your goals,” he told them.

“Even if you don’t pursue a career in the culinary field, you always have to eat,” he advised the students. “Knowing how to cook for yourself is an important skill to have.”

Throughout the 90-minute class period, the three young chefs made almost a dozen quesadillas. The smell of onions, peppers and chicken wafted through the halls of the school catching the attention of other staff.

Several teachers peered into the room to see what was going on. Another stopped in to be treated to a quesadilla – nothing but rave reviews for the student chefs!

In addition to the daily hands-on training, the students also receive ServSafe instruction and learn more about preparing stocks, soups and sauces, other cooking methods, baking, professionalism, kitchen and food safety, customer service, hospitality and more.

At the conclusion of the class period, the students were impressed with their finished dishes and looked forward to returning to Chef Derrill’s class the next day!

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