How did you become interested in food?
I have had a passion for being around food since I was little. I grew up with a broad range of food in my life. Coming from California, it is a melting pot of so many amazing cultures with such a diverse culinary influence that I was able to try food from all over the Americas, Europe, and Asia my whole life. I have always had a job working in a kitchen and it’s always felt like home. I can’t imagine spending the rest of my life pursuing any other career.
Who most influenced you?
Food talks to me. It told me I need to cook or I will never be truly happy. I have an opportunity to create something that will change the way people feel. It can make people feel inspired, it can make people feel good inside. The love that I put into my food is directly translated onto the plate and people can taste it, see it, feel it, smell it, and sometimes hear it. It’s an honor to be trusted with such a great privilege.
Did you have to overcome any obstacles or challenges to come to the CIA?
Coming to the CIA was a dream come true. Nothing really seems like an obstacle when you’re pursuing your dream.
Do you already have a degree from another college or did you previously have a different career?
I have a double major in Hospitality from California State University, Chico. I spent my time during college working and coordinating large events. After graduating I moved to Colorado where I became a snowboard instructor and competed in big mountain snowboarding.
Why did you choose the CIA?
I wanted to join a network of chefs that push the envelope. The CIA offers the opportunity to learn more, work harder, and be challenged to be a better chef than any other school. For anyone who wants to be the best, the CIA would be the obvious choice.
What do you like best about CIA?
The knowledge found at the school on any given day. There are is a wealth of resources on campus for opening my mind to be more creative and understand how food really works.
Do you belong to any clubs or participate in any activities/sports on campus?
I participate in Wine Club and Sports Club. I volunteer/work at events on or off campus that I can get involved in. There are many other clubs on campus I would like to be more regularly a part of such as Asian food club and Barbeque club. Come the new year, I see myself having a more active role in these groups.
What are your career goals/plans?
I would like to work in a restaurant that will continue to push my skills as a chef in terms of flavor development and artistic plating. When I feel it’s the right time I will open my own restaurant, but I know that I have so much more to learn and the knowledge that other chefs possess is so valuable I want to take advantage of working with someone that I can look up to for a couple of years.
Any advice for prospective students?
Work in a restaurant for six months. Take pride in your career goals as a chef and understand what it means to be a part of our profession.