Restaurant education can mean better service in restaurants

It’s no secret that new recruits for restoration work often prove that they are not as qualified as they claim. Candidates for higher-level positions that require certifiable experience, such as chief executive or general manager, are dwindling. And nowhere is this trend more evident than in seasonal resort communities.

The Delaware Restaurant Association stepped in with the highly acclaimed ProStart program, an industry-authored, national two-year program for high school students. This elective program introduces them to the culinary and management skills necessary for a career in the restaurant and foodservice industry. A significant number of these students go on to nationally accredited culinary schools. Some of our local students have returned to Sussex County to be part of the catering business here at the beach. But tuition at some culinary schools can exceed $35,000, so maybe a little help is needed!

To that end, Touch of Italy restaurants and joined forces several years ago to form the nonprofit Culinary Scholarship Fund. It offers $5,000 in tuition assistance to students who successfully complete the theoretical/practical levels of DRA’s ProStart program or who excel in the reputable culinary programs at Wor-Wic Community College and Delaware Technical Community College. Some applicants have been awarded scholarships after demonstrating exceptional skills and work ethic on the job.

Last week, the of Italy Culinary Scholarship Fund launched its fourth annual trip to Italy to help aspiring applicants advance their studies. The annual game of chance is simple: a customer buys one (or more) $100 chance(s) to win a unique trip to the Italian Riviera and Lake Como. Prize includes limousine transportation to and from the Cape Town area of ​​Delaware to the airport and $1,000 cash for winner and companion to spend as they please! Previous trips have included all-inclusive vacations to Rome, Tuscany and Venice.

Upon arrival in Italy, the winner and a companion will be taken from Milan Malpensa Airport to Hotel Santa Margherita Ligure. The next two days will be filled with Italian experiences built around Hotel Metropole and Santa Margherita. Private tours will include the picturesque villages of Santa Margherita Ligure, Portofino and San Fruttuoso. One of the highlights will be a skip-the-line glimpse of the stunning trompe l’oeil painted palaces that trick the eye into believing what you are seeing is real.

The week includes a boat trip to San Fruttuoso to admire the medieval abbey built directly on the pebble beach and a day trip to the hop plantations of the Italian Riviera. Around the middle of the week, the winner and his companion will don aprons and master the art of traditional Ligurian cuisine, using recipes ranging from artisan Corzetti pasta to pesto and local desserts. Cooking class members will then pour selected local wines and beers to indulge in their own creations before a leisurely return to Portofino.

A private car will drive our winners to the famous Hotel Barchetta Excelsoir in Como in Piazza Cavour (the main square of Como) directly across the lake and close to the Duomo and the historic center. The area is full of cafes, restaurants and local boat/ferry services.

Towards the end of the week, there’s a free day to spend some of that $1,000 in cash that’s part of the prize! Our winners will mingle with locals and visit tiny shops and hidden restaurants and cafes; maybe they’ll even buy some treasures to take home.

Upon his return to the United States, another limo will transport the lucky winner from the airport to his front door here in the Cape Town area of ​​Delaware. The retail value of this trip is approximately $8,000 and only 400 tickets will be sold. The winner will be drawn at Touch of Italy Rehoboth’s annual Thanksgiving Party on Wednesday, November 23, and you don’t need to be present to win.

Generous sponsors include Cape Gazette, Resort Broadcasting (WGMD 92.7FM and WUSX 98.5FM), Ocean 98 Radio and Radio Rehoboth 99.1FM. The drawing itself will be broadcast live on TV Delmarva.

Try your luck now (remember – sales are limited to 400) simply by heading to An official ticket will be mailed to each purchaser, and any of them could be the winning number. The journey will be incredible, but the real winners will be our young restaurant students who dream of successful careers – many of whom will be right here on Delmarva.

Bob Yesbek writes and talks about beach food nonstop. He can be reached at [email protected]