How did you become interested in food?
I had been working in the industry for a few years on the culinary side. Initially, I chose baking and pastry in order to become well versed in all aspects of the professional kitchen. Since starting the program, I’ve really come to love the precision involved in producing quality baked goods and confections. Precise measurements and methods are generally much more critical to a recipe’s success in b&p than on the culinary side.
Who most influenced you?
I would say there wasn’t one person in particular. There have been many chefs, friends and family who’ve influenced my decision. My parents have both been very supportive of my career choices.
Did you have to overcome any obstacles or challenges to come to the CIA?
I was living and working in Toronto, Canada at the time that I applied for admission. So I’d say that the biggest hurdle was the cross-border move, and having to find an apartment to live in sight unseen. I’ve got a dog, so unfortunately the dorms were not an option.
Do you already have a degree from another college or did you previously have a different career?
I graduated with honors from George Brown College in Toronto, with a degree in Culinary Management. I had been working in the industry for a couple of years prior to applying to the CIA. Before that, I was in the U.S. Navy for 21 years, and retired as a Chief Master-at-Arms in 2009.
Why did you choose the CIA?
The program has a wonderful reputation both here and abroad. I knew that I’d get the best possible education available by coming here.
What do you like best about CIA?
My classmates, my chef professors and instructors. The people make it a great place to come to every day.
Do you belong to any clubs or participate in any activities/sports on campus?
The Veterans Association, and I’m definitely interested in a newly formed club that I just read about in the school newsletter, the BBQ club.
What are your career goals/plans?
I would love to work in a professional test kitchen. I was fortunate enough to complete my externship in the CIA Publishing Department’s Test Kitchen. I’ve had a strong interest in recipe testing and product development for a while now, and that experience really solidified the idea that a test kitchen would be a great place for me. I’m also considering going to back to sea with the Military Sealift Command (MSC). I’ve always loved being at sea and the travel opportunities, and that would allow me to continue serving, in a sense.
Any advice for prospective students?
Be certain that this is the profession you want to be in. If it is, then there is no better choice for your initial training than the CIA.