Elora Duffett – Student Bio
“One thing that interested me was the bachelor’s program. I liked knowing I can get more of an education in one stop than having to attend another school.”
How did you become interested in food?
When I was young, many food television shows inspired me. I sat in awe watching extravagant cakes, desserts, and plates move across the screen. I craved to learn more. I began doing some work baking on my own at home. I joined my high school’s culinary classes and clubs. I wanted to get hands-on and learn as much as possible.
Why did you choose the CIA?
I chose the CIA because I knew it was the best place for me to learn. I wanted to learn from the best chefs and professors the industry had to offer. One thing that interested me was the bachelor’s program. I liked knowing I can get more of an education in one stop than having to attend another school. Lastly, the CIA’s large networking connection was the icing on the cake. I wanted to be able to take as many connections with me into my career once I graduated.
How have scholarships and/or grants helped you reach your goal of getting a CIA education?
While at the CIA, I have received scholarships and grants to help me pay for school. They have given me relief about paying back for school. I have been able to concentrate on my work and passion and worry less about paying back loans.
What do you like best about the CIA?
One of my favorite parts about the CIA is the atmosphere of passion. I love what I do. When I walk in the hallways I know that everyone is here for the same reason. One way or another we all have this passion for food.
Do you belong to any clubs or participate in any activities/sports on campus?
I am a peer mentor in the Career and Academic Advising Office. We help students work on organization, time management, résumés, cover letters, and more. We give students peer advice since we have already been in their shoes. I am also a bachelor’s ambassador. I talk with prospective bachelor’s students to explain more about the program and give them tours of what it’s really like to be a bachelor’s student at the CIA. I am the secretary of the Tea Club, where we taste, learn, and explore different teas.
What is your favorite dish to make?
My favorite dish to make is Swedish cream puffs, mostly because I love to eat them, but also because making them incorporates many different techniques. There is the crunchy sugar dough placed on top of pâte à choux baked until golden brown, and filled with sweet pastry cream.
How has your CIA education prepared you for the business side of food?
Whether in the associate or bachelor’s program, everything students learn is built upon our day-one class lessons. We learn basic information to help us prepare for the business side of food, management styles, food costs, food percentages, etc.
What is the best lesson you’ve learned while at the CIA?
The best lesson I have learned at the CIA is that it takes hard work and passion to get far. You need both to succeed in the food industry. If you love what you do, the long hours and tiring work become fun and energetic. The hard work you put into your job and yourself will be noticed. It will help you succeed and become the best you can be.
What are your career goals and how will your CIA education help you get there?
After I graduate from the CIA, I plan on owning my own business. My education at the CIA will help me successfully set a foundation for my dreams and show me how to pursue them. The CIA has also provided me numerous connections that I can use for my career.
What advice would you give to a new student or someone who is considering attending the CIA?
Take the chance. Do your best work. If you are passionate about it, work hard. Don’t give up—some days will be tough, but your plates will be worth it.