“I knew I wanted to be a chef from an early age because I always loved food,” says Llewellyn Correia ’92, regional executive chef at Wegman’s Food Markets in both Maryland and Virginia. “I love to share my knowledge of food with others.”
Born in Tanzania, Llewellyn’s family relocated to Mumbai, India where he attended K.C. College of Management Studies, graduating with a degree in hotel management. His apprenticeship at The Oberoi Hotel & Resort enabled him to meet chefs from The Culinary Institute of America. “Every couple of years chefs from the CIA would come to the hotel to conduct workshops. It was always a dream of mine to go to the CIA, a college that is recognized worldwide,” Llewellyn says. “You stand out from the crowd with a degree from the CIA.”
To gain culinary experience Llewellyn worked for Premier Cruises on ships traveling from Mexico up the coast of California to Alaska. “My crewmates came from 32 different countries, each with their own cuisines,” he says. “My time at sea helped me learn how to create flavors so dishes tasted just like they do in their country or region of origin.”
After five years, Llewellyn decided it was time to stop working and go to school. He applied to the CIA and was accepted. “Even with my years of experience I realized I had a
lot to learn. I knew how to prepare food but at the CIA I learned the science behind the food and the proper techniques. There, you learn product identification and knife cuts, then you build up your skills getting better and stronger as you go through the structured courses,” Llewellyn says.
His externship site at Grotto Bay Beach Resort in Bermuda was another great learning experience for Llewellyn and three of his fellow classmates. “The chef was a CIA grad and really guided us throughout the program. Working on an island with limited resources, you gain a whole different perspective on utilizing what’s available,” Llewellyn recalls. “The overall experience was terrific and we ended up extending our externship for a few extra months so we could work during the peak tourist season.”
After completing his degree at the CIA, Llewellyn knew what direction he wanted his career to go in and the type of hours he wanted to work.
For the next several years he held positions in executive dining and foodservice management before landing at Wegman’s Food Market in 1999. Voted as one of the 100 Best Companies to Work For by Fortune magazine, Wegman’s is known for freshly prepared, internationally diverse, ready to eat foods. Llewellyn oversees a staff of more than 100 employees. “One of my main job functions is that of teacher and mentor,” he says. “Wegman’s has a culinary management training program where we take high-potential cooks through a two year process working in various departments. As a proud CIA externship site, I can count on the caliber of the students who join our ranks temporarily and then, sometimes, permanently.”
“The CIA gave me the foundation I needed to be successful in my career,” Llewellyn says, “and it’s the best of the culinary schools. With hard work and dedication to the craft, a degree from the CIA will take you wherever you want to go.”