Embarking on a culinary education journey is an adventure that requires passion, perseverance, and the willingness to face challenges head-on. We are continuing to follow our Class of 2023 scholarship recipients en la cocina (in the kitchen,) four aspiring Latino culinary professionals who have dedicated themselves to honing their skills and discovering their culinary passions while studying at the Institute of Culinary Education in New York City.
Angie's Journey En La Cocina:
For Angie, the most challenging section of her culinary education so far has been baking. The precision required in baking can be daunting, as a slight miscalculation or timing error can lead to starting from scratch. However, she sees baking as a valuable teacher of patience. Undeterred by the challenge, Angie has set her sights on pursuing an externship in catering. Her love for the craft extends to all of their culinary school modules, as she has learned the art of balancing flavors using minimal ingredients. Angie also acknowledges the significance of balance in plating, a vital aspect of creating visually stunning dishes.
Odiley's Progress En La Cocina:
In the culinary classroom, Odiley has been excelling, showcasing his dedication and aptitude for the culinary arts. He is currently collaborating with staff to identify an externship opportunity at a prestigious fine dining restaurant in the vibrant culinary scene of New York City. Complementing his studies, Odiley works part-time at the culinary school, where he assists chef instructors with various tasks, including classroom setup and operations. His commitment to gaining practical experience is further demonstrated by his recent volunteer work alongside the renowned Momofuku Ko restaurant at the 2023 Celebrity Chefs & Friends Golf & Tennis Tournament.
Giovanna's Flourishing Passions En La Cocina:
Giovanna's culinary journey has heightened her profound love for pastries. Among all the modules she has encountered thus far, the pastries module stands out as her favorite. However, Giovanna's culinary interests extend beyond pastries, and she also finds excitement in the world of seafood. While exploring new territories, Giovanna faced a particular challenge when confronted with cooking steak—a dish she hadn't previously prepared or consumed frequently. Nevertheless, she embraced the opportunity to learn and push her boundaries. With a strong inclination towards pastry, Giovanna aspires to secure an externship at a Michelin-starred restaurant, where she can further refine her pastry skills and creativity.
Juan's Culinary Adventure En La Cocina:
Juan's favorite module thus far has been Module 2, where he had the opportunity to explore proteins such as poultry, pork, beef, and seafood, as well as plating techniques and a captivating restaurant simulation. While Juan has been enthralled by various lessons, he admits that the pastry module presented the most significant challenge. As someone who was not accustomed to using an oven in a professional kitchen, he quickly realized the importance of precision in pastry-making. Despite the challenges, Juan he found joy in mastering the art of dessert-making, appreciating its inclusion in the curriculum as both a challenge and a source of knowledge. Looking toward the future, Juan has set his sights on an externship as a line cook at a Michelin-starred Mexican restaurant, hoping for experience in a fine dining setting and exploring different culinary traditions.
Juan also had the remarkable opportunity to volunteer at the 2023 Celebrity Chefs & Friends Golf and Tennis Tournament. Interacting with industry veterans who have dedicated their lives to culinary excellence left Juan in awe. The cherry on top of this unforgettable event was the chance to sample dishes from various renowned restaurants and chefs, leaving Juan thoroughly impressed and inspired by the extraordinary flavors and artistry on display.
In summary, as we traverse the paths of Angie, Odiley, Gio, and Juan, we witness their resilience, passion, and dedication to the culinary arts. Each culinary arts student has encountered unique challenges, discovered their favorite modules, and set their sights on future endeavors. Together, they represent the diverse and vibrant world of culinary exploration. With their shared love for food and the culinary craft, they inspire us to embrace our own passions and embark on our own culinary journeys. Stay tuned as these exceptional young Latinos continue to leave their mark on the culinary world, creating extraordinary flavors and captivating dining experiences for all.