In one of our happiest pieces of news so far in 2016, Beautiful Day hired Carroll Webb as Providence Granola Project’s operations and training director. We are so pleased to have him!

To help you get to know Carroll, we talked to him about his background and interests. Here, in part, is what he said.

“I was working as a banquet cook and attending the Baltimore International Culinary School when I had to drop out because I ran out of money. One day while riding the train, I asked God what was I going to do and then I overheard a conversation from a student at the same school saying he need a roommate. I started talking to him, and he agreed to let me sleep in his living room. I quickly found a job at Joy America Café and was able to pay him rent. My education and culinary adventures were reborn.

“Later, when I got accepted at Johnson & Wales, I packed up everything I owned and moved to Providence. Since then I’ve supplemented my honorable discharge from the US Navy with an associate’s degree in culinary arts, a bachelor’s in marketing, and a graduate degree in education.

“I’ve always been moved by the kindness of others, like the roommate I met on the train. And over my 20-plus years in the food industry, I’ve also seen how food can impact people’s lives and they can really grow in this career path. This was what attracted me to Beautiful Day and the Providence Granola Project. It gives refugees hope and a chance to pursue a path toward self-sustainability.

Carroll, left, with colleague, Douglas Spikes, cooking for Amos House during the Men Who Cook/Women who Judge cooking competition in March 2009.

Carroll, left, with colleague, Douglas Spikes, cooking for Amos House during the Men Who Cook/Women who Judge cooking competition in March 2009.

“While attending Johnson & Wales, I worked as a residential director. Part of my job was to develop training opportunities that would develop and mentor my student staff. After completing graduate school at Johnson & Wales, I moved back to the DC area and got a job at the Art Institute of Washington and the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation. Those teaching jobs reinforced my belief that food and education can play a vital role in the lives of the students.

“Wherever I go, working in restaurants or corporate venues, teaching college or high school students, or serving in a nonprofit like Amos House, there has always been one clear truth for me: food can give people a chance to live healthier lives and an opportunity to follow a different career path – often people who have nothing. If you are willing to work hard, the path of gastronomy can be a rewarding spiritual awakening.

“I love learning and teaching about culture and food. How food is prepared in other places around the world. How people can improvise from spices to heating elements and create beautiful, artistic, delicious food. Evon and the other refugees bring knowledge about cooking from their culture and the use of spices in the making of granola."

"My wife and I have a 4-year-old son who loves to run. He seems to have boosters in his sneakers. I’m a runner, too, but I have a hard time keeping up with him. I think I better eat lots of granola to give me an edge because he is only going to get faster and inevitably I’m going to get slower.”

More at our Facebook page.

Caroline Ellis of submitted this post.

Written by Anne Dombrofski

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