I have always had a passion for food. My mother says that my first dish I ever cooked was stewed apples. Food has always played a large role in my family. From a very young age, I was enthralled with food. My grandfather owned the local Piggly Wiggly grocery store, so I grew up around food. At the age of five, I remember helping stamp the loaves of bread with the date sticker or watching as the produce section was restocked. It was food that brought our extended family together on a weekly basis. A shared meal around the table made get-togethers seem special.
As I have grown up, food continues to amaze me. In high school, I began working with a small catering company on the weekend, catering wedding receptions or other parties. The owners noticed my love for food and took an interest in me. Soon, I was helping with the food preparation on the weekends before loading the van to go set up for an event.
Upon high school graduation, I enrolled in Georgia State University’s Cecil B. Day School of Hospitality Administration. Despite my decision not to attend culinary school, my love affair with food has continued to grow. Since August 2009, I have served as the Lab Assistant for the Food Production Service Management course. It is my responsibility to ensure the safety of all students as well as supervise and assist two separate kitchen teams during each class.
As I continue to assist and teach the lab course, my passion for food has led me to apply to culinary school. Continuing my education after graduating from college will allow me the opportunity to improve my skills and techniques, but will also allow me to better understand food in general.
The foodservice industry is both a stressful and deeply rewarding environment. Those who are able to handle the high levels of stress succeed in the foodservice or restaurant business, while those who do not cope with stress well tend to burn out rather quickly. The foodservice industry is also rewarding because there is an instant gratification that is difficult to replicate in other segments of the hospitality industry. When the food being served is not up to the standards of quality, customers are not pleased; however, when food that is prepared and served with the highest level of professionalism and quality possible, guests provide instant positive feedback. There is nothing more gratifying than a compliment about how wonderful the food was. It is that very reason why I am a perfect fit for the foodservice industry.