Jacques Moore, a graduate of Second Harvest’s Triad Community Kitchen program, has always had a passion for cooking. He was 8 years old when his grandma taught him how to make cookies for the first time. Ever since, he has enjoyed sharing his love of cooking with his friends and family.
After working as a shoe buyer at Nordstrom for some time, Jacques started attending culinary classes at the Institute of Culinary Education in New York, doing a steward program. In the midst of his training there, a family emergency brought him back to North Carolina. He had to leave the program.
Knowing that he was eager to resume his culinary training, a friend told Jacques about the Triad Community Kitchen; a 13 week hands-on culinary program located in Second Harvest Food Bank.
It was here that Jacques says he learned one of the most vital culinary tools: preparation. In the kitchen this is known as mise-en-place (French for “everything in it’s place”) and it’s one of the first things we teach our students. Our insistence on this lesson was not lost on Jacques: he practiced his classroom kitchen work at home every night before coming to classes the next day. Like many Triad Community Kitchen students, Jacques experienced great camaraderie with his peers and the staff. “This program is something far greater than I imagined; it’s home,” he reflects.
Every graduate of Triad Community Kitchen heads straight off to an internship with a local restaurant. Jacques went to Old Town Club and was hired immediately following the completion of his internship. Three years later, Jacques is still there: thriving as their Garde Manger Chef. In January, he was honored to win the inaugural Employee of the Quarter Award at Old Town Club.
“I always had an itch to cook, and TCK made it easy,” said Jacques. It is clear to us, however, that Jacques passion is what has truly fueled his success. With that and a little preparation, Jacques’ career in the kitchen is “mise-en-place.”