How did you become interested in food?
I become interested in food after spending a lot of time helping my grandfather smoke and cook for fundraisers and the family for get-togethers.
Why did you choose the CIA?
I chose the CIA for the quality of the teachers and chefs, and for the culinary science bachelor’s degree. I felt like I should learn how to cook great food correctly before I tried to play with developing new food.
How have scholarships and/or grants helped you reach your goal of getting a CIA education?
Scholarships have helped me tremendously to achieve my goal of attending the CIA, by decreasing the burden of student loans I have to take out while also allowing me to focus on my studies and work toward my end goal—to be the head of Disney’s R&D department!
What do you like best about the CIA?
The culture is what I like best. There are so many people from different walks of life and countries that there is always something new going on I can learn about.
Do you belong to any clubs or participate in any activities/sports on campus?
I participate in the Culinary Science club.
What is your favorite dish to make? Why?
My favorite dish to make is smoked BBQ butt shredded and served with potato salad and slaw, because it reminds me of where I am from and how I was brought up (cooking with my grandfather). It brings back so many great memories!
How has your CIA education prepared you for the business side of food?
The chefs actively seek out opportunities to give us lessons in the business side of food and the course work to learn about that side of it.
What is the best lesson you’ve learned while at the CIA?
The best lesson is to never be afraid to do something or go somewhere. No matter if you are nervous or you are the only one—do what you want and you will meet people who have the same interests. Don’t let fear or nervousness hold you down.
What are your career goals and how will your CIA education help you get there?
As I said previously, my career goal is to be the head of Disney’s R&D department and work within the culinary science field to bring new ideas and products to Disney parks. And, as always, to travel! The CIA education will set me up for success with this mission, as I will be getting both a culinary and science background to help me advance with Disney.
What advice would you give to a new student or someone who is considering attending the CIA?
I would say to not be afraid. You’ve come this far—keep pushing to the end and succeed!