FRLA and Samuel’s Seafood Partner with Quest Kids Academy for Culinary Education Initiative

(Angie Berberich, culinary expert with Samuel’s Seafood, demonstrates proper chopping techniques with Quest students) 

The FRLA Central Florida Chapter has partnered with Quest Kids Academy and Samuel’s Seafood to provide a customized K-12 education for children and teens with autism and other developmental disabilities.

Since November of 2023, this collaboration aims to bring culinary education and hands-on experience directly to the students at Quest Kids Academy. Each month, industry professionals schedule visits to the Academy to demonstrate essential cooking skills.

The first meal focused on preparing a classic spaghetti and meatball dinner from scratch. Angie Berberich, with Samuel’s Seafood, showcased her mastery in the kitchen by teaching the art of knife skills. She skillfully demonstrated the proper techniques for cutting onions, carrots, peppers, and garlic – the essential ingredients for a delicious spaghetti sauce.

Erin Hennessy, the Work-Study Program Lead Teacher at Quest Kids Academy, shared her enthusiasm for the program: “Everyone had a great day, and all really learned a lot. After Angie left, we roasted all the chopped veggies in the oven, and everyone in the school kept talking about how good everything smelled!”

This monthly program aims to teach culinary skills and inspire the students to love cooking, eat healthy, and become more independent. The partnership between FRLA Central Florida Chapter, Samuel’s Seafood, and Quest Kids Academy is a testament to the power of community collaboration in enriching educational experiences.

“We are thrilled to see such a positive response from the students and staff at Quest Kids Academy,” said Brittany Pilcher, Director of Philanthropy at Quest, Inc. “This partnership is a perfect example of how industry and education can come together creating access for meaningful learning opportunities.”

To learn more about this partnership, please contact FRLA’s Central Florida Regional Director, Mel Coffey at