SAVOR, OKCCC’s exclusive provider of food and beverages, will begin a shared partnership teaching Job Corps students as part of a vocational training program for disadvantaged students between 16-24 years of age
The idea is for SAVOR’s talented team of chefs to work with local culinary students so that the next generation gains experience, tools, and knowledge to better compete for jobs in the industry. SAVOR’s Director of Food and Beverage Bryan Fulton, Executive Chef David Wright, and Executive Sous Chef Josh Moore will oversee the students’ training in the Oklahoma City Convention Center’s expansive kitchen space. All three toured the Guthrie Job Corps facility, where they met with students and instructors and introduced the co-op idea.
“I’ve always enjoyed working with culinary students,” Wright said. “It was a simple arrangement. Guthrie was looking for a place where their students could train, and we were looking to expand our reach into the community.” The students will assist in a range of duties, including the cooking and plating of large, high-end dishes for banquets.
“This will make a tremendous difference in the type of experience these students gain when they take their next steps into the working world,” said Astrid Lorbeer, career transition specialist. “The level and quality of preparing food in a state-of-the-art kitchen with the best of the best in the culinary field will give our students a better understanding of what skills are necessary for top-level culinary jobs.”
The students are under the direction of Guthrie Job Corps Culinary Instructor Shelly Rooney. Rooney teaches 30 students, where they spend five months learning about guest service professionals, ServSafe food handlers, and ServSafe food protection. “We’re very excited that our students will learn from some of the top chefs in the industry and learn valuable skills such as advanced cooking, cutting, and plating skills,” Rooney said.
“We will arrange the students in pairs and will learn from the professionals on a weekly basis. “This arrangement will be good for both parties,” Wright said. “The students will keep us sharp by asking questions. We will teach the proper techniques that are always a good to remember as you continue to learn in this profession.”