How did you become interested in food?
I've always liked to eat! I landed my first job as a dishwasher when I was 15 at my neighbor's restaurant, and it was a perfect introduction to the industry.
Why did you choose the CIA?
I chose the CIA because of its reputation as one of the best culinary schools in the country. If I was going to go to culinary school, it needed to be one that would challenge me physically and mentally. The CIA has been (and continues to be) an institution for a reason.
What do you like best about the CIA?
I think I like the fact that here at college we're pushed by fellow students and the faculty who all share the same passion and drive. It's one thing to be "into" food; it's another to be continuously surrounded by those with various experiences in the field you're going to be working in. The immense availability of resources and vast networking opportunities accessible to CIA students continue to amaze me.
Do you belong to any clubs or participate in any activities/sports on campus?
I play soccer for CIA’s team, and I write for the campus paper, La Papillote. It's nice for me to be able to play a sport I love with a passionate group of people, and writing for me has always been a creative outlet. There's always something interesting going on at the CIA that needs to be covered!
What is your favorite dish to make? Why?
My favorite dish to make would probably be a whole grilled fish, hit with a little lemon and olive oil, served next to a simple salad. It brings back memories of a trip I took a few years ago to the Portuguese countryside. With just a few fresh and local ingredients and a hot grill, I had one of the best meals of my life.
How has your CIA education prepared you for the business side of food?
During CIA's associate program, you're required to take classes such as Costing, Menu Development, and Introduction to Business Management. My CIA externship also reinforced what I was learning in the classroom, and I believe the CIA gives me a strong basis of understanding regarding the "business" side of food.
What is/are the best lesson(s) you've learned while at the CIA?
I think the best lesson I've learned while at the CIA is realizing that I now have a solid foundation and skill set to go out and do what I love. Furthermore, I've gained a newfound sense of confidence in myself, and I owe most of that to my time here at the CIA.
What are your career goals and how will your CIA education help you get there?
My ultimate career goal is to pursue a job in food media, with an emphasis on narrative journalism. With my strong understanding of food from the associate program and the networking opportunities available to me during my final year and when I graduate, I believe I can make my dream a reality.
What advice would you give to a new student or someone who is considering attending the CIA?
For new students or someone considering coming to the CIA, I would advise you to work one step above what makes you comfortable, and work next to those who are better and faster than you. Push yourself, but know your limits. Last of all, remain humble—and have fun!