Posts by kaitlin

Big Breakfast Bash

Posted by on Sep 8, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

On Thursday, September 11th, students and graduates of the Community Culinary School will prepare and serve breakfast for guests on the New Milford Green.  Our annual fundraiser, Big Breakfast Bash, kicks off at 8am and will include a hearty meal of eggs, bacon, french toast, home fries, fresh fruit, juice & coffee. “Our annual big breakfast bash is one of our major annual fundraisers.  Your ticket purchase will help to make this event a success and allow us to continue doing the important work that we do,” said Dawn the executive director of the Community Culinary School. Jeff Kilberg, Community Culinary School Board member and Fund Development Chair, said, “If you can’t attend yourselves invite friends and businesses in the area. This is a great way to learn firsthand what our school does for individuals and our own community.” Currently, our 26th session of students are about to begin their internships at local food service establishments.  Some of these may lead to employment  The School has a 96% job placement rate and a 95% job retention rate post 6 months graduation.  The proceeds from the Big Breakfast Bash will fund our job training and placement programs. Hope to see you...

Read More

New Milford Girl Scouts Use their Green Thumbs to Benefit the Community Culinary School

Posted by on Aug 21, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

Girl Scout Brownie Troop 40204 of New Milford, CT rolled up their sleeves and weren’t afraid to get dirty while planting a veggie and herb garden for the Community Culinary School.   Nine, sassy little ladies helped rake and mulch the garden’s soil to get it ready for planting.  Once that task was completed, Troop 40204 planted herbs and veggies into a large, rectangular garden bed. which includes a variety of vegetables like: tomatoes, iceberg lettuce, and jalapeño peppers to name a few!  Next to this plot, there is a smaller herb garden planted in a large, stone planter. The Brownies planted basil, rosemary, oregano, and chives in the stone planter. Our job training and job placement program not only empowers participants, qualifying them for jobs that earn a living wage in the food service industry, but we also help feed the hungry.  Food produced in the classes is distributed to the hungry in the community via the New Milford Food Bank, serving up to 150 households weekly which equates to approximately 2,000 meals per session.  We are thankful to Troop 40204 because the produce harvested from their garden will be utilized by our students to prepare more meals for food bank recipients. Thank you to Troop Leader, Karen McBride and Brownie Troop 40204 for their generosity and hard work.  Check out their handiwork in the pictures below.       Update 8/21/2014: Yesterday, Troop 40204 returned to the School to see the progress of their garden.  With Chef Blythe’s help, the girls picked fresh basil and other herbs from their garden.  The herbs will be utilized in a pesto sauce in meals to feed the hungry at the Food Bank.  Thanks for visiting and come back soon!          ...

Read More

The Importance of Food Safety at the Community Culinary School NW CT

Posted by on Aug 12, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

  At the Community Culinary School, food safety is our first priority and learning how to prepare food safely is a large portion of our students curriculum.  Our students learn proper sanitation through the ServSafe Food Protection Manager course training.  At the end of our 12-week culinary training session, students complete the ServSafe certification exam.  This certification gives our students an edge over their competition as this skillset is an asset for food service establishments.  100% of students are ServSafe Certified as Food Protection Managers through the national Restaurant Association.  Being ServSafe certified means our students become advocates for food safety in the community and are sought after by food service establishments which is evident by our 96% job placement rate. Why is being ServSafe certified so important in the food service industry? Every year, 48 million,  approximately 1 in 6 Americans, contract a food borne illness.  Of that figure, 128,000 are hospitalized and approximately 3,000 of those never make it out of the hospital.  Death is preventable if only proper sanitation and safe food preparation protocol is followed.  While the food may taste and look great, if it is not handled correctly, a food illness may occur. While most foodborne illness are not reported to health departments, the Center for Disease Control estimates that 9.4 million of the illnesses are caused by 31 foodborne pathogens.  90% of all illnesses due to these pathogens are caused by just seven pathogens: Salmonella, norovirus, Campylobacter, Toxoplasma, E. coli O157:H7, Listeria and Clostridium perfringens. The most common virus, Norovirus, is very contagious. Transmitted by contact with an infected person, contaminated food or water, or even by touching contaminated surfaces, norovirus causes your stomach and/or intestines to become inflamed leading you to have stomach cramps, nausea, and diarrhea, and to vomit.  According to the CDC, “Salmonella is now estimated to cause more than a million illnesses and 378 deaths annually. E. coli toxins are estimated to cause 176,000 illnesses and 20 fatalities a year. Campylobacter is estimated to cause 845,024 illnesses and 76 deaths. Listeria is one of the most lethal pathogens, estimated to cause 1,591 illnesses and 255 deaths.” 4 Tips for Avoiding a Food-Borne Illness: 1. Wash hands thoroughly before food prep begins.  Make sure to wash cutting boards, utensils, and surfaces. 2. Keep raw meat, poultry, and seafood separate from other foods.  Do not cross-contaminate by using one knife or cutting board for all food prep. 3. Properly cook meat to the right min. temperature to rid .  145°F for seafood,  155°F for ground meats, and 165°F for poultry. 4. If a food illness is suspected, report it to the health department immediately so others will not become ill.   Think you’d think pass a ServSafe food safety quiz? Try this sample test!  Good...

Read More

Our 24th Session Graduates!

Posted by on Jul 8, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

  After 12 weeks of culinary instruction, 6 weeks of internship at a local food service establishment, and successful completion of the ServSafe Food Safety Manager exams, our students have officially graduated!  We wish them lots of luck and success throughout their new culinary careers! Check out the photos from the Graduation of our 24th Session on July 3rd, 2014. Our graduates: front row, left to right: Ana Salinas, Neena Holder, Arielle Rodriguez. Back row: Blake Taylor, Tyler Paloian, Robert Lutz, and Anthony Bonos Jr.   Some of the grads! Newly-elected President of the Board, Ivan Shiffman, addressed the guests and had special words of encouragement for our new graduates. Chef Blythe, Dawn Hammacott, and Ivan Shiffman. Along with a diploma and SerfvSafe certificate, our graduates were gifted cookbooks and a framed class photo. Thank you to: David Leite for generously donating the cookbook, “The Flavor Bible.” The Taunton Press for donating a selection of cookbooks Pat Reise for the framed class photo. The graduation feast!  Each graduate prepared a few of their favorite hors d’ oeuvres to serve guests after the ceremony. Chicken salad, curried cod fritters, and stuffed jalapeño peppers wrapped in bacon. Russian sausage balls with dipping sauce and Asian shrimp salad Cookies, mini pumpkin pies, tortellini skewers, smoked salmon and goat cheese canapés, and...

Read More

Seeking New Students for Our Upcoming Job Training Session

Posted by on May 28, 2014 in Blog | 1 comment

CULINARY SCHOOL RECRUITING STUDENTS FOR UPCOMING SESSION New Training Session Begins July, 2014 for Job Training Program New Milford, CT May, 2014 – Building upon a solid record of success in training adults age 18 and older for jobs in food service, the Community Culinary School of Northwestern CT is recruiting students for its new session, slated to begin July, 2014. “If you love to cook and are interested in an exciting new career opportunity, you may be a good candidate for the Community Culinary School” says Culinary School Executive Director Dawn Hammacott. Tuition is free for qualifying candidates. The Culinary School was established in 2007 to provide unemployed and underemployed men and women with the skills they need to find jobs with career paths in the food service industry. “The New Milford/Danbury area has more than 500 businesses that employ food service personnel,” Hammacott says. “The industry is always in need of reliable, trained employees.” Instructed by Chef Blythe Roberts — a graduate of the French Culinary Institute — the students learn a range of cooking techniques in a full-scale kitchen. Besides providing 12 weeks of hands-on culinary and food safety instruction, the school also arranges internships for all students, trains them in the “life skills” necessary to getting and keeping a job, and assists with job placement. In addition to training and job placement, the culinary school provides another vital community service: The meals the students prepare are distributed to the needy through the New Milford Food Bank. Classes will be held Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 3:30 pm at St. John’s Episcopal Church, 7 Whittlesey Avenue, New Milford. Those interested in applying for or learning more about the program should contact Dawn Hammacott at 203-512-5791. The Community Culinary School is modeled on the Community Kitchen program of the anti-hunger organization Feeding America. The Culinary School relies largely on donations and grants, and has received support from the Connecticut Community Foundation, the Harcourt Foundation, the Meserve Memorial Fund, New Milford Hospital, Danbury Hospital, Union Savings Bank, People’s United Community Foundation, Webster Bank, Diebold Foundation, Woman’s Club of Danbury/New Fairfield, and other area foundations and civic organizations. “If you love to cook and are ready to turn your life around then enrollment in the Community Culinary School can offer you an opportunity to train for a career that will give you a chance for a better life for you and your family” says Ms. Hammacott. ## If you’d like to learn more about the Community Culinary School of Northwestern CT, please call Dawn Hammacott at (203) 512-5791, or e-mail her at...

Read More