Major: Culinary Arts Management
Hometown: Fort Collins, CO
How did you become interested in food?
As a child, some of my fondest memories came from helping in the kitchen during my Italian family’s large holiday dinners. I loved doing any and everything in the kitchen with them. The kitchen was the place to be, it was the center of our celebrations. We cook for our family and friends in order to spend time with them around the table. That is one of the most important settings for me. Talking with people you care about around the table and that’s what I want to pass on to everyone I encounter.
Who most influenced you?
My friends noticed and always complimented me on my passion for several years now and it wasn’t until a few years ago I took what they were saying to heart and considered the CIA. But the most influential person in my culinary career is my mother. She is the reason I have such strong Italian fundamentals.
Did you have to overcome any obstacles or challenges to come to the CIA?
My family is going through a lot of dramatic changes and financial struggles. They are right in the heart of the struggle now and at times I feel it is something I should be home for. But I have been blessed with tons of help and support from the financial aid office to make my dream of attending the CIA a reality.
Do you have a previous degree or career experience?
I was attending college back home in Colorado but I did not complete the program before transferring to the CIA.
Why did you choose the CIA?
Steve Prefontaine said “To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift”. These are words I live by and I know that in order to make the best of my potential I need to obtain the best education I can. The Culinary is the only place that offers that.
What are your career goals/plans?
After graduation I would love to cook in New York City or Italy and immerse myself in the culture. Long term I would love to own a restaurant of my own and run a charitable organization.
What advice would you give to someone who is considering attending the CIA?
If you are serious about a culinary profession, this is simply the place to be. There is so much to learn from your passionate peers and experienced chef instructors.