The following is Tiffany Mobb’s Community Kitchen Acadamey (CKA) graduation speech. Tiffany is a graduate of the 21st class of CKA, Burlington. 

Good afternoon friends, family, Classmates. Today we are gathered here in celebration of the 21st Community Kitchen Academy Graduation. We all took many different paths to get here but we Tiffany Mobb CKA gradcame with a common goal, to watch me give this speech, just kidding, to better ourselves, to get ahead in life, to pursue our passions, goals, our dreams. So many of us choose our own path out of fear disguised as practicality you can fail at what you don’t want. So you might as well take a chance on doing what you love.

Through thick and thin batters, Burnt product and patience, learning new skills and techniques, scrubbing on dishes and mopping the floors, we stuck to our hearts and steadied our hands and we are here today at our graduation. You can believe it ladies, look at us and what we have accomplished in these past 13 weeks. We should all be so proud. I’ve watched us all get along amazingly well together and come together as a team, despite our backgrounds and differences personal struggles we went into that kitchen more confidently day by day, asking each other, guiding and inspiring each other. Thanks to the unwavering guidance and patience of both CHEF BRIAN and CHEF MEGAN. Who got us through these past weeks with a light heart, answering every question we had or had asked at least once or twice before.

In this past week upon my nomination for this speech, I’d researched watched videos of others speeches graduation and commencements; and been a little unnerved because I have never given a speech of this magnitude before and what I learned is that; some people talk way too much, and this needs to be personal.

I can be personal, emotional, outspoken at times obnoxious but always trying to make bright another’s day. I like going for that extra smile; there’s a point to this I promise I’m not just up here trying to brag about myself, despite what these folks may have already told you.

I’d like to brag about my class mates, all of us have worked so hard and I’m going to share a little something about each one;

-Jo- Is an amazing BAKER her attention to detail is perfection, her creativity and passion will take her so far, I’m proud to say we shared this class together, I truly can say I can’t  wait to see where life will take her, I’m going to miss her blondies and sweet treats she’d spoil us with.. and you already know I’m hitting you up for a birthday cake this year. (holla holla)

-Keely- Oh keely what do I say, what should I say. She is so energetic and exuberant and funny. The faces and giggly fun we have had, thanks for dishonoring my cow. I love your quirkiness and admire your sensitivity and passions, I will miss how you always caught CHEF BRIAN off his game with your trickiness and your slick quips in the morning.

-Ruba- Since day one has taken the class very seriously, she has made some of the best cheesy risotto I’ve ever had, as well as some killer ice-cream sandwiches, and scrumptious muffins, her focus and determination can be seen from a mile away but it’s her feistiness and willingness to be ahead of the heard I will miss the most. Miss quiet independence with a fierce drive to get more done.

-Ester- Has always been able to make all of us smile whether translating or pronouncing various cooking terms for us, MIREPOIX, VELOUTE, SACHET D’ ‘EPICES,BOUQUET GARNI, OIGNON BRULE’ or  PIQUE, REMMOUILLAGE or charming us with her infectious smile. She is confident and her food speaks boldly so and always looking out for the rest of us, ready to lend a helpful hand.

-Ahlam- I think of quite fondly, she has been a pleasure to get to know, and always ready to help out -THE OFFICIAL QUALITY CONTROL OFFICER-(yes that is ME), her history and personal triumphs are beyond amazing, she is a WARRIOR, a SURVIVOR and a wonderful mother, so full of passion and happiness she loves her family and her food very much, with a true willing openness to learn. She has come so far, my dear friend, XOX, and her MARINARA is exquisite.

-Terri- Never holds herself back, she has never been afraid to ask a question or speak her mind, this is a young woman that knows what she wants and is definitely not afraid to go for it, she is such an inspiration, and despite her lack of enthusiasm for prep. She’s a darn good cook. Her outspokenness and friendly heart made her a joy to work alongside and her sassy comebacks aren’t bad either.



CHEF MEGAN- You have been the evil little shadow behind my shoulder, the lovely voice at the back of my head, did you measure that, are you chopping that correctly, no eating in the kitchen, I don’t care if you did shove the whole thing in your mouth and then took your gloves off, did you temp. that; can I try that?.. I have enjoyed your company and wisdom thoroughly; and congratulate you in your own accomplishments and personal struggles; you are one tough woman and I applaud you for everything you continue to do.

CHEF BRIAN- I had no idea where I was going 13 weeks ago, I knew I had food on my mind and passion in my heart. You have been a wonderful friend, mentor, instructor, a true CHEF. We each of us have our own paths before us; we get to choose to have a better life now, tomorrow, the next day; because of you. You gave us an opportunity and through the weeks, guiding us, critiquing us, inspiring us; this is us, here now before you; standing strong in our culinary abilities; Thanks to your experience, your diligence and again, more patience. CHEF BRIAN you are a wonderful gentleman with a great sense of humor a true inspiration to giving back and creating opportunities for me and so many others. THANK YOU.

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR CARING, for your passion FOR CREATING this amazing program. I am so proud and extremely honored to say I have had you for an culinary instructor, THANK YOU for putting up with my big loud mouth, obnoxious behavior, profanities and cutting corners, I don’t think I could thank you enough for the fire, passion the skill that you have rounded up and dusted off to get to this new polished me, this new polished C.K.A CLASS #21!

I’d like to mention and THANK;

-John Sayles the Director of the VT FOOD BANK, THANK YOU for all you do, and YOUR support for the C.K.A PROGRAM


– Dr. Howard Fisher for all that he does and continues to do and show support for the program whether checking in on us as interns or accompanying us to field trips and supporting us through providing college connections. THANK YOU SO MUCH SIR, YOU ARE SUCH A COMMENDABLE GENTELMAN IT WAS A TRUE PLEASURE TO WORK WITH YOU.

-CVOEO, VDOL, ECONOMIC SERVICES and ALL ORGANIZATIONS associated with making this program such a success, including Harriet Williams at VBAIR, THANK YOU.

-I’d like to share a quote; from STEVE JOBS

– “Your time here is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Stay hungry Stay foolish.”

You ladies truly can do anything you want to; you just have to believe in yourselves, your heart. Follow your dreams and make bigger goals, everyday. Push yourselves. Don’t ever let fear hold you back, let it push you forward let the passion flow from your soul and never let anyone tear your dreams apart. We did it, we Graduated! Today is our day, and tomorrow and the day after grab this life, grab your career, your passion, your love and never let go shake it up tear it down; build your own foundations to the better future we all want, we all need and deserve. Work hard but work smart. Always. Every day. Nothing is handed to you and nothing is easy. You’re not owed anything. No job or task is too small or beneath you. If you want to get ahead, volunteer to do the things no one else wants to do, and do it better. Be a sponge. Be open and learn. WE ARE STRONG WOMEN.