Over the last few years a lot of people have been asking me what I would attribute my success in the culinary field to. That has been a very humbling and thought-provoking question. To think that people think that I am a success at such a young age is more than I could ever ask for. I have gained so many great skills and friendships over the years, and I must attribute that to the hard work and dedication to the educators that have put countless hours into me.
My first taste in the culinary field started at a young age. Early in my high school career I found my self in a basic home economics class learning how to do basic cooking things like knife skills, baking, etc. I quickly found myself taking it very seriously and using the skills at home. After just a few weeks the teacher asked if I ever thought about taking the culinary arts program offered by the career center. This is where my love for cooking began.
As a member of the KACC Culinary Arts Program I was fortunate enough to partake in activities kids my age would never have an opportunity to have. From competing in multiple ProStart competitions to achieving my Serv Safe to cooking at the Glass Canopy restaurant to just name a few of the little accomplishments that would launch my future into a place I never thought I would be.
With a lot of help from the culinary education staff at KACC I was fortunate enough to attend Sullivan University as a Culinary Arts Major. Being put in with such an incredible program gave me a fighting chance to see just what this field is all about. While at Sullivan my greatest memory was being selected as a student representative to compete at the Taste of Derby for a scholarship to the university. Although I did not win the competition allowed me to meet and work with a variety of celebrity and world-renowned chefs. At the end of my time at Sullivan I was asked to interview for an intern position at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.
During my time in Las Vegas I have had opportunities I could have never dreamed of. I have worked for 3 major casino/resorts including 2 Forbes 500 rated restaurants. I have spent countless hours to prove to myself and to my KACC program that hard work and dedication can get any kid no matter how hard life is to a place like this. The products and ingredients I have used are beyond anything imaginable, and I owe all that to a select group of people and teachers that have shaped my life.
Along with this field there are a lot of untrue and unfair stigmas. If you can stay true to yourself and remember where you started the possibilities to be a success are endless. It was only 5 years ago I spread my wings from that KACC kitchen into the real world, but if I could give the kids today some advice it would be to build relationships! Remember everyone’s name you meet in the kitchen, remember everything they taught you because some day those smallest moments will have huge impacts on your life.