June 29, 2017

How the Culinary Training Program Changed My Life

Author: Guest Blogger

Chef Shandra - former Culinary Training Student at Second Harvest Food BankWhen I started the Second Harvest Culinary Training Program, it changed my life.

Before this program, I was an assistant manager at a gas station, but even with that job, it was still a struggle for my husband and me to keep our heads above water. When I heard about this program from a friend, I hesitated to call, at first. When I finally did, though, I never could have imagined how much my life was about to change for the better.

In the beginning, it was a huge challenge for me. My hours were cut to part-time at work, and we were relying on my husband’s small income. I was worried I would have to quit and find more work so we wouldn’t get behind on bills. Read More …

May 2, 2017

Congrats to our Graduating Classes!

Author: Idalia Nunez

April 2017 Second Harvest Culinary Training Program GraduationOn April 28, 2017, Second Harvest Culinary Training Program held the graduation ceremony for Class 20, 21, and 22. During the graduation ceremony, certificates of completion were awarded to 24 students. Our commencement speaker was Chef Nora Galdiano from Sysco. Chef Nora reminded our graduates there is no easy road to success you must work hard but not forget to have fun. She pointed out to the importance of seeking out mentors and staying connected to people. Read More …

November 22, 2016

Celebrating Our Students’ Success

Author: Idalia Nunez

November 2016 Culinary & Distribution Training GraduationWe live in a complicated world full of stress, lists, hectic days, with little time to delight in the beauty and people around us.  Last Friday, we were able to pause and celebrate our Culinary and Distribution Training Program students at their graduation. It was such a special day for not only the students but for their families and friends.

From our community partners to our business partners, Board members, and Second Harvest staff we all rejoiced together as we witnessed the beautiful smiling faces of each graduating student.  Students from class 17, 18 and 19 all came together once again to celebrate their accomplishment. Read More …

November 3, 2016

Dino-Mite Experience

Author: Idalia Nunez

Culinary Training Field Trip to Landry's, T-Rex, and Rainforest CafeWe would like to give a GIGANTIC THANK YOU to Marty Sherman and his team at Landry’s Restaurants for recently hosting our culinary students.  Jen Connell, Mr. Reefe, Jeff and Chef Gene shared their experience, gave the students a tour of the T-Rex and Rainforest Café kitchens and an excellent lesson on high volume and high quality cooking.

We were all treated to a DELICIOUS lunch that included T-Rex Café’s out-of-this-world chocolate extinction dessert.  One of the many highlights was eating lunch under a meteor shower and seeing the scuba diver inside the fish tank. After lunch, the students had the opportunity to apply for open positions at both T-Rex and Rainforest Cafés. Read More …

September 8, 2016

Sunday Funday Brunch!

Author: Guest Blogger

brunchweb2016aSecond Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida will be hosting a “Sunday Funday” Brunch featuring live entertainment by the Orlando Gay Chorus. Guests will enjoy an all-you-can-eat brunch complete with mimosas, and an optional Bloody Mary bar on Sunday September 25, 2016 with reservations beginning at 10:00 AM.  The brunch will be held at Second Harvest Food Bank, 411 Mercy Drive, Orlando, FL 32805.

Darden who is a wonderful community partner will lend us the expertise of Executive Chef Jim Nuetzi and his team from Olive Garden Italian Restaurants. They will be preparing an array of delicious pastas, salads, and will feature an Italian carving station with turkey and roast beef.

Chef Jill Holland of Second Harvest’s Catering for Good and her team will prepare and serve traditional brunch selections as well as a Gourmet Grilled Cheese Station.  Some of our past graduates of Second Harvest’s Culinary Training Program will join in on the fun by creating delicious offerings to show off their success in the culinary industry in Central Florida. Read More …

June 7, 2016

Parting Ways is Such Sweet Sorrow

Author: Idalia Nunez

June 2016 Graduating ClassMonday, June 6th, Second Harvest Culinary Training Program hosted the graduation ceremony for classes 14, 15, and 16.  We were joined by Congressman Daniel Webster who delivered an inspiring commencement speech on the importance of learning the value of time, reading, and listening.

Graduate Shawn Gadsden also shared her story, and spoke about how the Second Harvest Culinary Training gave her the confidence and determination to pursue her dreams. Read More …