John Carlo DeVera
How did you become interested in food?
I became interested in the culinary arts at a very young age. When my dad was still around he would always be the one cooking at home and I would always be around to help. When my dad passed away, the only thing that would make me happy at the time was to cook. From then on, I could always be found in the kitchen cooking or experimenting and I then knew that I wanted to be a cook one day.
Who most influenced you?
My dad was my main influence when it came to cooking. There was always this smile on his face and he would always be happy whenever he would cook—whether he was making a simple sandwich or a complete meal.
Did you have to overcome any obstacles or challenges to come to the CIA?
There are numerous challenges I encountered on my journey to the CIA. I was born and raised in the Philippines so everything I had to leave everything back home in order to get here. At first it was very hard to adjust to the style of living and to the style of studying here. But after making a few close friends, I felt much more comfortable.
Do you already have a degree from another college or did you previously have a different career?
I hold a diploma in Culinary Arts from The International School of Culinary Arts and Hotel Management.
Why did you choose the CIA?
There are multiple reasons why I chose the CIA. I felt that I wanted to expand my knowledge and learn more about culinary arts. It has also been a dream of mine to attend this school because of the high standards of education they offer. I was also extremely impressed with all the success stories of the alumni.
What do you like best about CIA?
The best thing about the CIA is living on campus. I live on the Hyde Park campus where it is beautiful all year round. You live in a scenic and very beautiful area of New York. You are also surrounded with numerous resources as well. You get to meet a lot of people from all over the world and you come together because you all have one thing in common—food.
Do you belong to any clubs or participate in any activities/sports on campus?
I occasionally take pictures for the school paper, La Papillote.
What are your career goals/plans?
After graduating from the Bachelor’s degree program, I plan on traveling around the U.S. for the experience and then I would like to travel around the world to expand my knowledge.
Any advice for prospective students?
I would give them the advice my mentor told me before enrolling in this school “You will never learn and grow as a person if you do not get out of your comfort zone.” I live 10,000 miles away from my comfort zone, and after five months of being in this program, I feel that I already have learned a lot and that I’m a different person from who I was five months ago. So take that leap.