How did you become interested in food?
My interest started when I was working as a pastry chef at a local family-owned restaurant back in my hometown. I only worked there for a year, but it gave me a lot of insight into this career and I learned a lot from working there. It was a great experience and made me want to learn more and pursue this career field.
Who most influenced you?
I would say I had two influences. My biggest influence was my dad. Then the chefs that I worked with. My dad always cooked great meals for me and my siblings when we were growing up. We all enjoyed his cooking and I remember how he looked when we complimented him on the meal. I would like to continue that tradition of creating delicious food for my family. It is such an incredibly satisfying feeling when you make someone happy with the food you created.
Do you already have a degree from another college or did you previously have a different career?
I was in the Army for five years and seven months serving as an infantryman. I re-enlisted to become Intel but due to back problems, I was medically discharged. I decided to pursue a degree in mechanical engineering as I wanted to build and design rollercoasters. After enrolling, I didn’t feel it was the right fit for me and decided to pursue a career in a field that I was truly passionate about.
Do you belong to any clubs or participate in any activities/sports on campus?
I am a member of the Baking and Pastry Society.
Why did you choose the CIA?
I heard it was the best culinary school in the world and if I was going to pursue this career, I wanted to become one of the best. The structure, discipline, and high standards were similar to what I experienced in the military, so it was a smooth transition for me. I learn well with strict guide lines to follow.
What do you like best about CIA?
The chefs. They are all talented and accomplished professionals with unmatched industry credentials and experience. They bring their knowledge and skills to the classroom and present the material in exciting and engaging ways. Plus, the kitchens, equipment, and facilities are top-of-the- line. Having the opportunity to learn and cook in these kitchens is amazing.
What are your career goals/plans?
Long term, I would like to open up my own ice cream franchise. First, I would like to get as much experience and skills as I can by working in different places and learning new techniques. This industry is always changing so you have to keep up your skills and think of ways to bring new ideas to the mix.
Any advice for prospective students?
The CIA is for the best of the best. If you want to be challenged and become the best in this industry, then the CIA is the place where you need to be. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do it. If you are passionate about a career in this industry, then the opportunities are endless.