How did you become interested in food?
I have been interested in the culinary industry since I was 15 years
old. My parents saw my passion for food and have supported me every step
of the way. For me, this is a lifestyle not just a career.
Who most influenced you?
My parents were my biggest influence and support system. The pivotal
moments that sparked my interest in the culinary field started as a
child with my dad’s BBQ chicken and my mom’s fried roast beef tacos.
Did you have to overcome any obstacles or challenges to come to the CIA?
The only obstacle I had to overcome was the financial aspect, however,
that was resolved after serving in the Army for three years. While in
the military, I served as a food service specialist. This not only gave
me a solid culinary background, it also provided me with financial
Do you have a previous degree/career?
In June 2008, I joined the U.S. Army attending basic training in Fort
Jackson, SC then moving to Fort Lee, VA to attend Food Service
Specialist School. U.S. Army Airborne School in Fort Benning, GA was my
next stop, which lead to being assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division,
2nd Brigade combat team, 2-325 in Fort Bragg, NC. In January 2010, I was
sent to Haiti during Operation Unified Response. After serving three
years in the military as a Foodservice Specialist, I decided to continue
to pursue my passion and finish my education.
Why did you choose the CIA?
Before enrolling at the CIA, I attended the California Culinary Academy,
which did not suffice. I did some additional research and found that
the CIA would provide me with many more opportunities to submerge myself
into the culinary world.
What do you like best about CIA?
The professors in the academic classes feed you tons of information and
you feel like you are getting what you pay for. I would have to say that
the best part about being at CIA is the amount of hands-on experience
you get using fresh ingredients.
What are your career goals/plans?
My plan is to work in the hotel sector for a while in order to save up
enough money for the bed and breakfast I plan to open in California. The
focus will be a farm to table establishment.
Any advice for prospective students?
Come to the CIA with a passion for food. Come to the CIA to learn about
food in a way that you have never imagined. And come to the CIA with an
open mind. You will meet tons of new people and become part of a much
larger successful network throughout the industry. The CIA will be the
stepping stone for whichever career path you choose.