The Arc of the Bay Holds First Culinary Institute Graduation

By Ron Sharpe

The Arc of the Bay’s Culinary Institute program held its inaugural graduation on December 18, where six students became the first to graduate from the program. Two of the graduates have had job offers and will start working soon.

As a part of the event, these students received their ServSafe and Culinary Training Certifications. The ceremony also recognized Jay Howell, who received the inaugural Chef Paul Ashman Award.

For the past six months, students have engaged in restaurant readiness training. They learned various culinary skills, ranging from cleanliness and sanitation to food prep. As part of the program, students were able to take a trip to the Epcot Center in Orlando, where they experienced “Behind the Seeds – The Land” and learned about aquaponics and agriculture.

The new semester of the culinary program began on January 13.

Back row: Ron Sharpe, Jamie Hall, Mike Smith, Michael Fletcher, Erick Balcazar, and Jay Howell. Front row: June Conner, Porcha Baker, Mason Hardin, Bea Smith, and Develyn Davis.

The inaugural graduates of The Arc of the Bay’s Culinary Institute program celebrate their achievements with staff and chefs from the program. Back row: Jamie Hall, Bea Smith, Jay Howell, Erick Balcazar, Michael Fletcher, Ron Sharpe. Front row: Mason Hardin, Porcha Baker, Develyn Davis.