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.
            • Over 50 campus locations nationwide.
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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*
            • Programs in Culinary Entrepreneurship, Professional Culinary Arts, Professional Pastry Arts, and much more
            • Campuses in New York and Silicon Valley with nearby housing available
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            Baker College is the largest independent college in Michigan with the most focused approach to education and training available. Our mission is to prepare you for meaningful employment.

            5 Program(s) Found
            • 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).
            • Externship opportunities are available at numerous famous New York City restaurants.
            • Campus is located near downtown Manhattan, within walking distance of many popular attractions such as the Radio City Music Hall.
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            • Ranked among the Best Colleges in the South in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
            • Ranked the 13th  Best College for Veterans in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
            • A private institution founded in 1977 with a current total undergraduate enrollment of over 15,00.
            • Its student-faculty ratio is 12:1, and 89.3% of classes have fewer than 20 students.
            • Has students attend one class at a time to ensure easy access to faculty and a more hands-on education.
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            L'Ecole Culinaire , Saint Louis
            • Offers educational opportunities for the aspiring, career-minded chef.
            • Students are trained by professional chefs and spend the majority of their final term working in the campus restaurant to learn all phases of the culinary industry.
            • St. Louis campus offers new Food Truck Entrepreneurship courses.
            • Has a student-run food truck that tours around St. Louis.
            • All campuses have a public restaurant where food is prepared and served by students.
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            2 Program(s) Found
            • Culinary Arts program includes the 3-week Farm To Table® Experience, where students gain a direct, in-depth look at where food comes from.
            • Numerous scholarship opportunities and financial aid are available to students who qualify.
            • Accreditation from the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET), and the Council on Occupational Education (COE).
            • 2 campuses located in Boulder, Colorado and Austin, Texas.
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