Chefs in the Making

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Chefs in the Making

Clarke’s Internship Program Helps Students Explore the Possibilities of a Culinary Career.

Aspiring chefs may be unified by a love of food, but many new cooks don’t realize a culinary career can follow a variety of different paths.

“There’s not just one aspect of the kitchen,” says chef Kevin Duffy, an associate instructor and former dean of culinary arts at Johnson & Wales. There are opportunities in restaurants, management, nutrition, and education. Part of Duffy’s mission is to show the young and passionate the possibilities, which is why he enjoys educating them about Clarke Sub-Zero/Wolf’s internship program. 

“I bring students to Milford, let them see the operation, and get them excited about being part of the Clarke family,” says Duffy. “It’s a very nice environment and the internship program has been a great success.”

This winter at Clarke, Jake DeJoy and Leandro Cuzzocrea are two Johnson & Wales interns, who will work separately at the Milford showroom and at 7 Tide in Boston. They will be cooking, baking, developing menus and recipes, talking to customers, and demonstrating techniques with Sub-Zero/Wolf appliances.

Many students are drawn to the program because Clarke offers creative freedom and access to an arsenal of high-quality appliances. “As soon as I walked into the showroom in Milford, I fell in love with the place and the idea of open creativity in some of the most incredible kitchens I have ever seen with such amazing equipment,” says DeJoy.

DeJoy grew up in Unadilla, a small New York town and moved to New England to pursue a culinary education at Johnson & Wales. His passion is partially driven by the instant gratification. “I love getting creative with matching flavor profiles and making a complete dish that tastes and looks amazing. I also love the satisfaction you can get from either impressing customers or mainly friends and family wondering how you can make something so delicious,” says DeJoy.

His experience at Clarke has influenced his next step. “I’m hoping to find a company like Clarke that is closer to my home in the New York/Pennsylvania area due to the fact that I enjoy the relaxed environment and the creative freedom,” he says.

Leandro Cuzzocrea is from Staten Island, New York, and he was drawn to Clarke’s encouraging atmosphere as well. “They spoke to me about the creative freedoms I would have at the internship and that ultimately helped make my decision to intern at Clarke Sub-Zero/Wolf,” says Cuzzocrea.

Influenced early on by his mother, Cuzzocrea is constantly researching and experimenting. To him, food is an art form. “The thing I love most about cooking is the freedom I have to express myself. There are no rules when it comes to cooking and anything is possible,” he says.

While Cuzzocrea’s future ambitions include working at a Michelin-starred restaurant in Manhattan, the next kitchen he plans to be in is his family’s, where he’ll be cooking his favorite meal. “Ever since I was ten years old, I’ve been making penne alla vodka,” he says. “It is always a fan favorite and it just makes me think of my family.”

Clarke has chefs on staff at all of their showrooms. Currently, chef Nicolle Saez works in the Milford kitchen (393 Fortune Blvd, Milford, Massachusetts, 800-842-5275). Her only previous experience before cooking at Clarke was in busy restaurants and bakeries. “This company has shown me a different way of looking at what I love best, which is the creativeness of cooking. Being in a test kitchen makes me discover new ingredients and challenges me to always find something new to tackle,” says Saez.

Over in the Seaport at 7 Tide (7 Tide St., Boston,Massachusetts, 800-842-5275) is chef Domenick Nigro. He is a graduate of Johnson & Wales and now he oversees interns from his alma mater. He’s happy to have landed at Clarke. “There are so many things that I like about working here from the family atmosphere to the culinary freedom and creativity,” says Nigro. “And, of course, all the beautiful appliances.”