“Becoming a cook was unexpected. There was no one in my family who loved cooking and food wasn’t a big part of my upbringing. Growing up I dreamt of being a published author. It hasn’t happened yet, but in between writing and editing my novels and looking for representation, I started cooking. It brought out an enjoyment I never expected it would. Cooking helped me feel powerful. I didn’t have to wait for others to feed me, and the world was my oyster as to what I could eat and cook for myself. In a strange way, it helped me feel independent. That led me to culinary school, which in turn led to my first restaurant job.

Working at my first job was a gift. It gave me a place to practice my studies and learn more. For the few weeks I worked as a pastry cook, I thrived. Loving pastry more than the savory side was another surprise because I always thought I would venture into healthy cooking. Ha, ha! But aside from the new techniques and dishes I experienced, I saw the hand and the grace of God in every area of my life. I learned how resilient I truly was, and that as much as I classify myself as an introvert, I love being around people, learning their stories, and talking to them. Something that followed me in my new role as a cooking instructor.

My new role as an instructor has served as a mirror for myself. It’s highlighted my weak points, but it’s also highlighted my strong points. It’s helped me remove the lens off myself and focus it on other people, ensuring that the students under my care are well taken care of, instructed properly, and encouraged to pursue their dreams, whatever form they take. It’s helped me appreciate people a little more and understand that each of us is different and the same.

I am a multidisciplinary artist and I love it. I write, draw, bake, and currently, I’m studying animation. How all these different ventures fit into cooking, I have no clue. All I know is that each brings out a different side of me. They’ve helped me understand and express myself a little more. And maybe someday I’ll find a way to combine them all. Who knows? Maybe I’ll write a short-animated series about a young cook who loves pastries and drawing.”