When Chef Leslie Moyers tells prospective culinary students to take a chance on a new path in life, it’s a path he knows quite well.
While in his mid-30s after a decade in the U.S. Air Force as an electronics engineer and operating his own business refurbishing medical equipment, he found himself out of work when international trade policy shuttered his business. In need of a new direction, he took a chance on an offer from CareerSource to go back to school.
“I was really a lost soul,” he said, recalling that he had ignored the first two letters from the workforce development agency. “But they said they’d pay for me to go back to school. They sent me a list of careers, and the one that caught my eye was culinary training.”
Now, he teaches young men and women at Treasure Coast Food Bank’s Culinary Training Academy – many who are traveling the same path he traveled with an assist from CareerSource.
“Many of the students in our Culinary Training Academy come into our program through CareerSource, which provides some or all of the tuition,” said Judith Cruz, President and CEO of Treasure Coast Food Bank. “Just like CareerSource helped to launch Chef Leslie’s culinary career 25 years ago, the organization is partnering with us to help students who need training or retraining.”
Moyers’ career is a testament to the diversity of culinary arts education. He ran his own business as a personal chef, served as executive chef for a major grocery chain, did cooking demonstrations, served as executive chef of a 1,000-bed hospital, and owned and operated a local deli and bakery. As an adjunct professor and certified culinary instructor, he’s taught at major culinary institutes, and now serves as Treasure Coast Food Bank’s Director of Culinary Services.
He credits his success to chefs and teachers who believed in him, and he carries that forward at Treasure Coast Food Bank’s Culinary Training Academy where the summer term begins June 1st. Students in the 12-week program experience every aspect of the food service industry to prepare them for careers not just in a kitchen but running a food service operation such as a banquet hall, catering operation, or hotel food operation.
“I do everything I can to ensure that every one of the students makes it through the course,” Moyers says. “We teach them to cook from the heart and have confidence no matter where their culinary training might take them.”
To learn more about the Culinary Training Academy, visit https://stophunger.org/culinary-training-program/. Contact CareerSource Research Coast at 866-482-4473 for information on tuition assistance.
ABOUT TREASURE COAST FOOD BANK
Treasure Coast Food Bank is the only food bank and largest hunger relief organization on Florida’s Treasure Coast, providing the community each year with millions of meals valued at more than $50 million through robust programs and in partnership with 400 charitable organizations in Indian River, St. Lucie, Martin, and Okeechobee counties. In addition to emergency food distribution, Treasure Coast Food Bank operates a full roster of direct service programs that not only solve the immediate problem of hunger, but help individuals and families gain long-term food security, better health outcomes, and self-sufficiency. Treasure Coast Food Bank is a member of Feeding America, the nationwide network of 200 food banks that leads the fight against hunger in the United States. For more information on Treasure Coast Food Bank, call 772.489.3034, log on to stophunger.org, visit our Facebook page at facebook.com/tcfoodbank, or follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/tcfoodbank.