By Mike Dougherty
CAMDEN, N.J. (CBS) — A nonprofit culinary arts school for the unemployed in Camden today graduated a new crop of chefs who are ready to take on the restaurant industry.
This was Cathedral Kitchen‘s tenth — and largest — graduating class. About 200 friends and family members filled the tables at the Cathedral Kitchen, 1514 Federal Street, to show their support for the 21 grads.
“I’ve come away with so much knowledge and I would like to take it to the level of being my own owner of a food truck,” says Scott Parker, who admits he barely knew how to handle a knife properly 17 weeks ago.
That knowledge has come from Chef Jonathan Jernigan, whose drill sergeant approach to cooking school prepares these men and women for life in the pressure cooker.
“This is the best job I’ve ever had in my life,” Jernigan acknowledges. “I’ve worked in a lot of upscale places, but giving back is the best thing you could ever do in your life. This is awesome, to see my guys growing every day.”
In addition to culinary school, Cathedral Kitchen also provides free meals for the needy six days a week.