What I did during summer vacation

I remember having to write an annual essay in grammar school at the start of every school year: What I did during summer vacation. I don’t remember being graded on it. And I can’t imagine my essays were very exciting at the age of 6 or 7 — my brother and I went to camp. All summer. And did camp stuff. And stayed up late, ate junk, rode bikes, went to sleep overs, ate toasted marshmallows.

Now that I’m back in school, I was treated to a summer vacation again. And while it was only three weeks long, I feel like I took an amazing culinary journey and honed in on what I want to do with this crazy wonderful mess I’ve gotten myself into.

I took a one-week vacation on Hilton Head Island with my family. Tucked between the shorts, flip flops, and bathing suit, was a pie plate, baking ingredients, my knife roll, and rolling culinary kit. I spent $300 on groceries and baked pies the entire week, testing new recipes for the Crisco National Pie Championships next April. And I fell in love with Georgia, South Carolina and the Barrier Islands.

I recorded a video pie demo for Desserts Magazine, and started a photographic pie demo for Chef2Chef.net.

I applied for four food writing, marketing, and test kitchen jobs, and was rejected by the online robots every single time. So I hired a resume writer to help me organize my culinary experience on paper for the next time.

And I did something really crazy. Don’t laugh, but I drove to Atlanta and auditioned for The Next Food Network Star. I spent just shy of two months working on the 11-page application. I looked perfect on paper, but let my nerves get the best of me when I had to speak in front of the producer. I didn’t get the callback for the cooking demo and drove home disappointed in myself for letting that happen.

Something else happened though; something I didn’t realize until moments before pulling into my driveway after the 6 hour drive from Atlanta to Orlando. That application forced me to define my culinary point of view, allowing me to clearly see what I want to do with this culinary degree when I’m done.

The semester starts up again on Monday, and I won’t be finished with school until 2011. I can’t wait to be done. Not because I dislike being in school – I love school. But because I can’t wait to start this culinary career full time.

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            5 Program(s) Found
            • Alumni have appeared in reality competition shows such as Top Chef and Project Runway.
            • Has a team of about 4,000 faculty members focused on helping students tap opportunities in a marketplace driven by ideas.
            • Offers programs in design, media arts, fashion, and culinary.
            • Provides program coordinators who work with students to ensure they have the learning materials, assignments, facilities, and faculty to get the most out of the program.
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            • Gives students the opportunity to earn their associate’s degree in the culinary arts field in less than 15 months or bachelor’s degree in the food service management field in 2.5 years through their year-round schedule.
            • Located in Norfolk and Newport News, Virginia.
            • Offers externship experiences to students for experience in the field.
            • Hosts regular career fairs for employer recruitment.
            • Has student housing available.
            • Accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACSCOC).
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            • Hands-on culinary education with focused attention on each student
            • An ACCSC School of Excellence with multiple “Best Vocational Cooking School” awards*
            • 15,000 graduates, including celebrities like Bobby Flay, David Chang, and Christina Tosi*
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            • Received the 2015 and 2013 “Cooking School of the Year” Award of Excellence from the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP).
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
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            • Students get real-world experience through the required externship at the end of the program.
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            • Program objectives are to provide students with skills needed for cooking wholesome, attractive, food preparations and to assist graduates in obtaining positions in the food service industry.
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            • A part of the Select Education Group (SEG).
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            • Has been training students in the culinary arts since 1946.
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            • Its instructors are respected chefs who put their dedication and life experiences into their instruction.
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