How did you become interested in food?
When I was younger, I always loved science and being able to express
myself artistically. I always checked books out of the library and spent
lunchtime looking at new things on the internet. Eventually, I learned
about molecular gastronomy and José Andrés. It absolutely fascinated me.
Molecular gastronomy took food and transformed it through science
into something new. I started looking into the food industry more and
more. Then when I was 15 I talked to a chef in downtown Oklahoma City.
She let me stage for a weekend in her kitchen and I fell in
love with the industry. I knew that working in a kitchen was something I
needed to do for the rest of my life.
Why did you choose the CIA?
I chose the CIA because it was the best fit for me.
The school has an amazing reputation and an amazing network. I knew
that I could learn from the best of the industry while having the
opportunity to find employment after I graduated. When I came up to visit the New York campus, I fell in love with the atmosphere and the culture. The chefs and the faculty were absolutely amazing and I knew it was the right place for me.
What do you like best about the CIA?
I love the chefs and professors here at the CIA. They know so much and
are really willing to talk with the students to teach us as much as
possible. The chefs and professors love what they do and their passion
really comes across.
Do you belong to any clubs or participate in any activities/sports on campus?
I’m a writer for the school paper La Papilloteand
I am currently helping to design the website so the paper can go
digital. It really lets me explore topics surrounding the food and
beverage industry that interest me and to tell other people about issues
What is your favorite dish to make? Why?
My favorite dish to make is rigatoni buttera. It was the first entrée I
tasted at my first job and it was the first entrée I ever learned to
cook on the line in a professional kitchen. While baking & pastry is my passion, that dish will always hold a special place in my heart.
How has your CIA education prepared you for the business side of food?
The CIA’s curriculum includes classes like culinary math and
purchasing. The skill and knowledge of food is crucial in the kitchen
and the CIA backs it up with showing the financial cost behind a recipe
and how to manage inventory. At the end of the day, a restaurant is a
business and businesses need capital to function. By teaching the
students the financial side of a kitchen, they really give us the tools
to be able to express ourselves in a sustainable way.
What is/are the best lesson(s) you've learned while at the CIA?
One of the best lessons I’ve learned at the CIA is how to productively
manage my stress. I’ve turned to painting watercolors and writing for La Papillote
to help unwind at the end of the day. The school really works with its
students to help them manage their stress and find productive ways of
dealing with it.
What are your career goals and how will your CIA education help you get there?
My biggest goal is to become a leader and have a lasting impact on the industry. The CIA is the first big step
in that direction. With the education provided, the school is giving me
a strong base to build upon once I enter into the industry.
What advice would you give to a new student or someone who is considering attending the CIA?
I would tell anyone thinking about coming to the CIA to be open and
flexible. Everyone who comes here has a passion and is very skilled in
what they’ve done. If you’re open and flexible, you end up learning a lot more and more doors end up opening for you.
The school also moves at a lightning pace the minute you move in. Being
flexible helps to be able to adapt to the change and different