fc.olive200_6868webJanuary 2010: Olive Garden has donated $1,000 to First Course Culinary Training. Liz Hardison, General Manager of the The Olive Garden restaurant in Keene, chose First Course to receive the $1,000 charitable donation allowed each restaurant in the Olive Garden family.

“It was important to me that the money go to a smaller organization that might not get the big funds. I just love what they do. They take people from all walks of life and teach them real skills so they can work. They’re giving people a  chance  they otherwise might not get.”

Chef Matt McIntyre thanked Hardison on behalf of First Course. “This donation means a lot to us, to have a professional in the industry recognize the work we do and want to help out like this is great. Thank you.”

When Hardison learned the Olive Garden donation was the first of its kind to First Course, she said she hoped that she had started something. She'd like others in the restaurant and hospitality industry to see the value of supporting the training program, and “add some money to the pot.”