At Metropolitan Ministries, we like to say that the meals we serve change lives. But it’s not just eating a meal that can open the door to hope and a fresh start. Sometimes, learning to prepare those meals can also be life-changing.
As proof, let us tell you about Dominic.
Dominic isn’t your typical chef.
“Don’t ever underestimate someone’s capabilities.”
In fact, because of a physical disability, his hand-eye coordination and knife skills were once described as “rigid.”
But what Dominic lacked in technical skills he more than made up for in heart and passion to always look for ways to improve himself. Today, he works as a prep chef at one of the most talked-about seafood restaurants in Tampa. How did Dominic go from a simple kitchen volunteer to sous-chef extraordinaire?
One of the biggest reasons was because professionals in the foodservice industry were willing to take a chance on this young man despite his obvious limitations.
The path to success
Why would a professional risk investing in a young amateur? As it’s been said, “Attitude is everything.”
Dominic’s determination far outweighed whatever skills he initially lacked.
“Don’t ever underestimate someone’s capabilities,” says Peter Bates, Metro’s culinary arts instructor. “Sometimes, it’s worth taking a chance on someone who displays dignity and respect for others. There’s value in everything people can do.”
“If you show up every day, I have no doubt that after 16 weeks, you’ll improve.”
In Dominic’s case, a big part of his journey to success began when he expressed an interest in joining our culinary arts program. Though his skills we rough at first, Bates saw other qualities in Dominic that he liked, especially, his work ethics.
“Dominic aced his exams, was always on time and did everything we asked him to do,” says Bates who’s known around here as Chef Pete. “I can call it three A’s: ability, attitude, and attendance.”
When the owner of Ulele found out about Dominic, he offered him an “externship,” shucking oysters and other general food prep.
Two years later, Dominic is still an integral part of Ulele’s kitchen staff, where his vitality serves as an inspiration to his co-workers.
Did Dominic’s improvement surprise the staff ay Metro’s culinary art program? Not really, according to Chef Pete.
“If you show up every day, I have no doubt that after 16 weeks, you’ll improve,” Chef Pete says. “That’s what Dominic loves to do.”
Culinary Arts Program is supported by our donors like you. This Easter you can help change even more lives like Dominic’s because of our Easter MATCH.