The Delaware Advisory Council on Career and Technical Education recently honored SoDel Concepts, a hospitality company, with its Outstanding Service Award for a Delaware business. Samuel E. Lathem, chairman of DACCTE, presented the award June 9 at the Duncan Center in Dover.
Terry Carson, the principal of Seaford High School, nominated SoDel Concepts, which has supported the school's ProStart curriculum, a two-year culinary program developed by the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation.
Ronnie Burkle, a chef and a director of operations for SoDel Concepts, has cooked with the students in the high school and given them of tours the dining room and kitchen of two of the nine SoDel Concepts restaurants. He's also brought students to SoDel Concepts' corporate office in downtown Rehoboth Beach for a behind-the-scenes glimpse of the business.
In addition, Phill Blush drove the company's food truck, Big Thunder Roadside Kitchen, to the school for tours. He discussed the truck's day-to-day operations and showed students how to use the equipment. The students then created their own food truck concept. They even created a truck design and menu.
"We were totally surprised and pleased when the staff at Seaford High School nominated us for the award," Burkle said. "We love meeting young people who're interested in the restaurant business and talking about the career paths available to them in this industry."
Burkle said the Seaford High School students were welcoming and enthusiastic. "They make the future of the restaurant business in Sussex County look very bright."