Zoe Brock: Learn From Every Person
“I love the chef-instructors. Each one brings something different, and being able to connect with them and learn from them is something you can’t get anywhere else.”
Major: Associate Degree in Culinary Arts
Campus: San Antonio, TX
Hometown: Midland, TX
How did you become interested in food?
I cooked with my dad growing up. When I went to college at Texas A&M University, I studied Health and Psychology. I want to use both degrees in my future to make delicious food that is not just good for you, but is beneficial.
Why did you choose the CIA?
I chose the CIA because it has credibility and an amazing post-grad network.
What do you like best about the CIA?
I love the chef-instructors. Each one brings something different, and being able to connect with them and learn from them is something you can’t get anywhere else.
Do you belong to any clubs or participate in any activities/sports on campus?
The CIA San Antonio has very few clubs due to it being a commuter campus, but there is a city-wide Farmers Market on the weekends right by our campus. We as students have the opportunity to work in the Live Fire Kitchen during the market. It’s super fun, and it helps us hone our customer service skills. We also get to create specials and sell them.
What is your favorite dish to make?
I love stir-fry. It’s versatile, and customizable so each guest is happy with their dish every time.
How has your CIA education prepared you for the business side of food?
Costing assignments have been helpful, but the most helpful class for the business side has definitely been externship. That helped me learn real-life, hands-on techniques to lower food costs and increase yield.
What is the best lesson you’ve learned while at the CIA?
Learn from every single person, be it a classmate, an instructor, a dishwasher, an engineer. Everyone has something to teach you if you listen close enough.
What are your career goals and how will your CIA education help you get there?
I would like to make healthy foods, maybe try my hand at being a sommelier. I believe the CIA will give me the credibility and the tools to succeed in whatever I choose to pursue.
What advice would you give to a new student or someone who is considering attending the CIA?
I would tell them to give it a shot. Even if you decide that being in the kitchen isn’t for you, you still learn valuable skills that transfer across many areas. The industry changes every day, so having this background and the connections that we make here is so helpful and so important in establishing yourself, regardless of where you end up after you graduate.
Zoe Brock is a CIA student pursuing her associate degree in culinary arts at the college’s San Antonio campus in Texas. She is from Midland, TX.