“I was born to be in the kitchen”

Khumbu, 38, enrolled in FSTA to act on his lifelong passion for cooking. “I started cooking when I was 12 years old,” he told us. “I started making simple things like pancakes, and I fell in love with cooking.”

Some culinary skills that he is most looking forward to working on in the coming weeks include getting more in touch with baking, fine-tuning his knife skills, and learning to present his food so that it looks as good as it tastes. His favorite things to make are lasagna and meatloaf.

The FSTA program helps students develop a core set of values and equips them to serve as positive role models for others. Khumbu will be learning and teaching simultaneously, setting an example for his 10-year-old son.

“I want to shed positive light on my son,” he said, “that education is important and that it’s vital to success in life. It’s also to teach him responsibility because when he sees that his dad is going to school, that he can do it, then he’ll have the mindset that he can eventually further his education, too.”

After graduation, Khumbu plans to gain some experience in the industry and then take his education another step further by going back to school to become an executive chef. With the help of his experienced instructors and fellow students, Khumbu works hard with these goals in mind.

“I wake up early in the morning, but when I get home, I’m tired,” he told us. “I feel that good tired. I feel that sense of achievement, a sense of fulfillment because I’m doing something that I love. I just feel comfortable.”

As he approaches graduation, Khumbu will work with the FoodBank’s Culinary Employment Specialist to help him find a job.

“I was born to be in the kitchen,” he said.