Student Spotlight: Isabelita Sumner

Isebelita Sumner photoIsabelita Sumner recently graduated from the culinary arts program in February 2013 and was gracious enough to share her story with us.

I am Isabelita Sumner. My hometown is Manila, Philippines and current city is Los Angeles, California. I am a graduate of Finance at University of Santo Tomas, Philippines. As for my profession, I am an Accountant and Real Estate Agent. 

Since, I was a teenager I always watched my mom when she cooks. I fell in love with cooking and I always love to try new recipes. Every time there would be an occasion, I always volunteered to cook. Sometimes my kids and friends would request me to cook some Filipino dishes for them if they miss a certain dish. One day, when I was visiting my kids in Kauai, Hawaii, they requested me to cook some Filipino foods which they love to eat so every day, I cooked their favorite Filipino dishes. My son-in-law who is a chef tasted my cooking and suggested: “Mama Belle, you have to open your restaurant”, you cook so good. I ignored his suggestion until I came back to California and I started thinking more about it.  This is where my journey began. I said, “Before I open my own restaurant I need to get formal schooling in culinary arts.” Since I am busy with my work, classroom schooling is inconvenient. So, in my free time I searched online for culinary schools that would offer a flexible time and at the same time one that is affordable.  For 2 years, I searched for an online program but I couldn’t find one then one day while I was on my computer, Escoffier Online International Culinary Academy popped up. I read the ad and called to ask more about it. I spoke with Shannon and she explained to me very well the things that I will be learning here plus the flexibility of time and most important that it is so affordable. I said “this is the school that I’ve been looking for, for almost 2 years.” No hesitation, I enrolled and started on Aug. 2012 and on Feb. 8, 2013, I finished my culinary arts. I did it at my own pace, no rush and no pressure.

Now, I am on the next level of my journey and I am ready. With the knowledge that I acquired from Escoffier Online, I am now confident. I will be opening my restaurant in the Philippines, serving Filipino cuisine with a twist of Escoffier method of cooking. I choose Manila, Philippines, because it is my hometown and I want to impart to the Filipinos the knowledge I gained here at Escoffier Online. All the aspects of cooking from mise en place to cooking technique to sanitation to storage to the kitchen crew. I will be proud of Escoffier forever because Escoffier Online gave me the chance to learn everything that I wanted to learn. Next month, my husband and I will be flying to the Philippines to look for a location to put up my first restaurant there. I am now in the process of writing up my menu and my business plan.

No regret at all that I choose Escoffier Online Culinary Academy. You’re the BEST!!!  Thank you so much. But wait, I still need to finish the Baking and Pastry program

A special thank you to Isabelita for sharing this great success story with us! Check out more of our student spotlight stories to see why our students chose online training and where they have ended up after completing the online program! If you have a story to share or would like to learn more about our program, please contact us at (855) 696-6602 or

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