How did you become interested in food?
Interestingly, it all started when I was dishwashing in a small town restaurant. Watching the fast paced adrenaline, mixed with the constant desire of perfection by the chefs, was incredibly intriguing to my young 14-year-old self. Dishwashing led to some hands-on work prepping food but it was really the service time that I loved the most. Even if I couldn’t cook the food, watching the chefs cook and prepare meals was fascinating enough to me and I knew this was a career path that I wanted to pursue.
Who most influenced you?
My father. I was very sure that I wanted to go to the CIA, but it was difficult for me to make that leap and leave my family and friends. It was my father who gave me the little extra nudge that I needed to make the decision to leave home and travel to New York to pursue my career at the CIA. I wouldn’t be here without him.
Did you have to overcome any obstacles or challenges to come to the CIA?
Leaving home, friends, family, and my boyfriend to travel all the way out here took an emotional toll on me; however, it made me a much stronger person.
What do you like best about CIA?
I have met some of the most influential chefs here. Their experience and accolades are unmatched in the industry. These chefs have really made me look at food differently and want to be a better chef.
What are your career goals/plans?
I will be traveling to Newport, RI to work at the Castle Hill Inn. My short-term goals are to learn as much as I can about food and different styles of cooking. Long-term, I would like to be an executive chef.
Any advice for prospective students?
You can do anything you put your mind to. However, I would highly recommend getting a lot of experience cooking in a good restaurant for at least two years. Not only will you gain valuable kitchen experience and earn some money for school, you’ll know whether or not this career field is for you. Remember to be incredibly kind and humble to your co-workers and chefs as they will be the ones who provide you with the necessary knowledge and skills that you will take with you to the CIA. You need to be 100% committed and be sure to always taste, taste, taste!