Every five weeks in a small + intimate conference room inside One80 Place you will find family + friends gathered to celebrate the graduates of One80 Training. Indulging in a little healthy competition, the graduation ceremony, Measure Up, includes a lighthearted mini-version of Chopped.
Graduates showcase their culinary skills by preparing an innovative + mouthwatering dish to be sampled + judged by three local cuisine connoisseurs. Their creations are evaluated on presentation, taste, and imagination. After a winner has been declared, it is time for the final send off. Instead of caps + gowns, these graduates are walking away with official chef uniforms, cookbooks, knife sets, and ServSafe certifications as they venture into the exciting world of Charleston food + beverage.
Program Director, Angie Dupree, is side by side with the graduates every step of the way. Angie emphasized the unique perspectives + skills around the Community Kitchen when saying to graduates, “every cycle is so different – we learn so much from each of you.” After creating everlasting friendships, she takes pride in watching the graduates blossom into successful culinary dilettantes.
Enter Stefan DeArmon, a shining success story of One80 Place Training. As one of the freshest additions to the pit at Smoke BBQ, Stefan is a valuable member of Charleston’s food community. Formerly a homeless Veteran, Stefan was paired with Chef Roland Feldman of Smoke BBQ during the 2017 Charleston Wine + Food festival as a part of his externship experience. Chef Roland was awestruck by Stefan’s talent + finesse, leading him to offer Stefan a full-time position in Smoke’s kitchen on the spot.
This past year Stefan stumbled upon a delicious breakthrough leading to a hot new endeavor, Reverend Cornbread Co. While we predict Stefan will measure up to his potential, we also know he will not forget his roots by continuing to give back to the place that helped him reset + restart his life. He offers his time to One80 Place by serving lunches + teaching program trainees to cure pork belly. “When you receive a blessing, you give a blessing,” Stefan humbly states.
Meaningful experiences that enhance lives + add flavor to the Charleston community will be dished out by the CHSWFF partnership with One80 Place Training for years to come. Keep your eyes peeled for emerging wine + food talent featured at this year’s festival: Jerry McMillian, George Murray, and more working in the festival Prep Kitchen with an array of local chefs.
Follow along this five-part series featuring stories about the partnership between Charleston Wine + Food + One80 Place. It’ll definitely have you thinking: #WhereElseButCharleston?