Chef Robert Barker graduated from Delgado Community College Culinary Arts Apprenticeship Program in New Orleans in 1991. He continued to have a successful career working for notable chefs such as Wolfgang Puck and Emeril Lagasse and has worked with cookbook author Kit Whol. Eventually he opened his own restaurant, Demi Epicurious in Austin. Chef Barker died April 2, 2011 at his home in New Orleans. He was 44 years old.
“Robert was a passionate, talented cook and we will all miss him. The only thing I can think is that God probably needed a new chef who could not only make great pizza and wonderful fish dishes but also train the chefs in heaven” expressed Wolfgang Puck.
On behalf of the Barker/Blut family, the Delgado Community College Office of Institutional Advancement is establishing the Chef Robert Barker Memorial Scholarship. In creating this scholarship, we will continue to foster Chef Barkers’ greatest passion – to encourage young chefs and expose them to New Orleans cooking.
“Robert embraced the brotherhood of chefs, including the commitment to bring along young chefs. He introduced them to professionaltraditions and standards and he introduced them to New Orleans cooking” reflected Shane Baird, Executive Sous Chef at Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s Deer Valley, Utah restaurant.
In that regard, the Chef Robert Barker Memorial Scholarship will provide the resources to cover the high cost of the basic materials needed for the young chefs to come along. We are asking you to help memorialize a great Chef and friend to the culinary arts by donating to this scholarship and enabling young chefs to achieve their dreams.
Students enrolled in the Delgado Chef Apprenticeship Program are required to complete 4,000 hours of on the job training under the supervision of an executive chef and 900 hours of related classroom instruction. It’s a demanding program with the students’ upfront costs for knives, uniforms and professional memberships averaging over $350. Delgado graduates go on to have successful careers in the culinary industry.