As elementary, middle and high school students head back to class, so do adults entering Second Harvest’s Culinary Training Program. Instead of reading, writing and arithmetic, for the next 16 weeks, these students will receive hands-on training necessary to obtain a job in Central Florida’s booming foodservice industry. They will learn food safety and sanitation, knife cuts, mother sauces and basic techniques to prepare cuisine from around the world.
To inspire the latest class, Walt Disney Senior Recruiter Sandra Williams, invited the students for a field trip during the first week of class, unheard of in most school settings. But, in the words of Mary Poppins, “In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun.”
Field trips are an opportunity for students to go behind-the-scenes and learn more about the industry. These experiences open their eyes to what is possible as they work through the program and set goals for themselves and their new careers.
The day began at the Flavor Lab, where Disney chefs research, develop and test recipes for new restaurants and park openings. Chef Ed Wronski gave the students a look into his decades-long career in the food industry. By building on each new experience, he created a successful career where he now leads the team responsible for creating unique and memorable food experiences for guests at parks and resorts around the world. Recently, his team has been hard at work developing menus for the new Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, including a “Blue Milk Challenge.”
Next, the students visited Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa where they toured Victoria and Albert’s Restaurant. Chefs Noah Estabrook and Nick Mussara gave the students insight into the details involved in creating a magical fine dining experience for their guests. Afterward, the students sampled stilton cheesecake.
“The whole experience was eye-opening,” explained Alex, one of the students on the field trip. “The chefs were knowledgeable, friendly and so organized. After seeing and hearing more about the opportunities to grow in the industry, I know that one day, little by little, I could be there too.”
Thank you, Disney World Parks and Resorts for inspiring and motivating Second Harvest’s Culinary Training students to reach for the stars.