Chris Dargin strives to help others using his skills in cooking. Since graduating from our Culinary Apprenticeship program in 2016, he has opened his own catering business. Chris said the network he developed guided him toward the best direction of success.
He discovered our award-winning program while researching various culinary institutions but decided on CCPE when he realized it was located in Cobb. Chris wanted to attend a school that not only had the reputation of KSU but a small commute time.
Before coming to CCPE, Chris was looking for a new career direction. He drew inspiration from his childhood.
“My mom was the oldest of 10 and she cooked a lot. I grew up watching her and my aunts cook large family meals for any gathering. Everyone was happy after eating her meals and I wanted to that for others,” he said.
Chris recognized that in day-to-day life, people were too busy to go home and cook nice meals, even for special occasions. He wanted to help others bring home cooking back to their families and their special events.
While in the program, Chris polished his cooking and improved his knife skills. He learned how to appreciate the importance of spices to enhance flavor. Overall, the program provided on-the-job training opportunities and helped to build long-term professional relationships with staff and other classmates.
“I enjoyed navigating through Mystery Basket the most. Not only was it fun, but it also provided a welcomed challenge to see what we could make from a basket of items that at first glance would not go well together,” he said.
The program helped him build his professional resume while seeking employment. The apprenticeships provided work experience he did not have prior. Chris got a job immediately for the Bistro at WellStar Kennestone Hospital in Marietta after graduating. He currently works at ChefAdvantage, assisting with food preparation for breakfast and lunch for local private schools.
Chris is working towards staring his own catering business, Dargin’s Creole Kitchen, LLC. He secured the business license in May.
“We specialize in Louisiana Creole cuisine providing private, corporate and special event catering services. My next goal is to open a casual dine-in restaurant,” he said.
Chris wants others to know the Culinary Apprenticeship Program is affordable and hassle-free all while being quick and easy. After graduation, having access to the KSU Small Business Development Center was beneficial to him. The center provides access to professionals in various industries willing to help graduates.
“The staff was and still is available to help. I believe [CCPE’s] program is one of the best in the state,” he said.