By Amanda Murphy
Posted March 2, 2015
Jordyn Suchman Spotlight
With a background in cooking with farm-to-table food, Jordyn Suchman said that choosing Escoffier Online for her culinary school needs was a “no brainer.” With the ability to stay...Read More
Escoffier Online got a chance to talk with Jordyn on her involvement in the rural community, her up-and-coming business and where she would love to see her career in 10 years.
Escoffier Online: Why did you decide to do Escoffier’s Online program?
Jordyn Suchman:It is flexible and conducive for my schedule and I can complete my assignments from anywhere. I was homeschooled and was looking to further my education in something I enjoy doing as a hobby, cooking. All culinary arts schools were too far away for my liking. We found Escoffier Online the week before I graduated high school and signed up and paid for it the day I walked at graduation. We found Escoffier Online and fell in love with the program.
EO: What are the most important things you’ve learned from Escoffier?
JS:How to artistically plate food and how to keep things cleaner than normal. I learned how to cook and bake properly above the normal everyday cooking. I learned how to supplement things I may not have in stock for a recipe to still make it work. (Like what to do when I don’t have almond flour on hand.)
EO: You did schooling on a farm where you learned a lot about how to grow and cook farm-to-table food. Tell us about that.
JS: I have always enjoyed cooking. Four years ago I joined a local program called Rural Resources. It is a five year program that teaches farm-to-table and life lessons. The first year I learned how to do greenhouses, hoop houses, small animal science and horticulture. I got to even milk a cow. The second year I learned how take what I grew and learned to cook with it alongside two local chefs. I learned knife skills and my way around a chef’s kitchen. I even deboned a chicken on the first try perfectly. And I can make a really good Chicken Cordon Bleu. The third and fourth year I had to make a resume and a business plan so by the fourth year I can carry out a business. I did frozen, homemade and fresh local pizzas and blueberry pies. This is my fifth year and I get to intern at either a high end restaurant or with a local caterer. During this time I was asked to do a wedding rehearsal dinner and a church luncheon. On top of a fifteen pizza order and Valentine’s Day Banquet. Everything I learned over the five year program I was able to pull into my business.
EO: When pursuing a culinary career focused around farm-to-table, what advice do you have for others?
JS: Connecting to local farmers or groups like I did with Rural Resources is key. The saying is true: No Farms, No Food. If you help local farmers, local farmers can help you. I get most of my fresh items needed from the Rural Resources farm and in return they do not charge me for it.
EO: What is the one ingredient you have to have in your kitchen?
JS: It's hard to keep it to just one ingredient! Extra virgin olive oil is really important. AP flour is also key. Eggs, milk and water is also very important as well as baking powder and baking soda and corn starch.
EO: You have recently started making organic frozen pizzas that you sell. Tell us a little about how you came up with that idea and how it’s going.
JS: I made fresh homemade pizzas in my second year of Rural Resources and it was very easy and delicious. And like I said earlier, I started the business with my Rural Resources group with fresh homemade local pizzas toppings and everyone loved them so I just kept rolling with that idea. Which is why I keep getting large pizza orders at a given time! My name is getting out there and so much so that my Rural Resources teacher is allowing me to stock the farm’s freezers with the pizzas for them to sell on my behalf.
EO: Where would you like to be in your career in 5 years? 10 years?
JS: My goal is to cater to people who are too busy but also tired of eating out all the time. Also, I would like to cook for the elderly who may not know how or can’t cook fresh tasting and healthier meals for themselves. So, in 5 years I would like to have a clientele base to cater to on a regular basis. In 10 years I would like to also add a possible store front so I can keep catering to the above clientele and also offer different classes like kid’s parties, girl’s night out, guy’s grilling classes, cooking classes, etc. Over the course of the next 10 years I want to take something as simple everyone having the need to eat, taking it out of the box and making it a creative necessity for me to earn an enjoyable income doing what I love. I have thought of many creative ideas to do to market myself in ways that no else has thought of. My potential is endless!
EO: Why would you recommend Escoffier Online to other people?
JS: For me, it’s a no brainer not to recommend Escoffier. The online school is convenient and you’re getting the same education as you would in the class room. For me it goes hand in hand with Rural Resources. I can’t talk about one without talking about the other. I am highly impressed with everything the school has to offer. It is well set up. My advisor is awesome. And my chef mentors are the best. I can call in at any time and any place (like from the grocery store) and get them on the phone for help or questions. I love the webinars. And how all my books are online.
By Amanda Murphy
Posted February 18, 2015
Sarah Schweitzer Spotlight
It made sense for 19-year-old Sarah Schweitzer when she chose Escoffier Online for her culinary education. As a graduate of an online high school education, she was used to the format and excited...Read More
We sat down with Sarah to talk about why she loved her schooling with Escoffier, what her fantasy celebrity dinner party would look like and, of course, what she would make at said dinner.
Escoffier Online: How did your love of cooking and baking first get sparked?
Sarah Schweitzer: My love for both cooking and baking started when my Grandma and Grandpa would come to our house and spend time with us. My grandma would bring foods to cook or we would have foods for her to cook. She was also active in her church kitchen making ethnic foods. It was a Slovak church since she is Polish so the foods were delicious and easy for a kid to help with or make. My mom also likes to cook and bake. We have a family of 7 so I was always watching what my Mom was doing to make meals. Then, my younger brother got sick so I learned about making organic and no preservative foods. On top of that, I started watching cooking shows like Jacques Pepin and Julia Child on the Food Network. So, my start was with family mostly.
EO: Why did you decide to do the Escoffier Online program?
SS: I wanted to be at home and helping with family cooking and taking advantage of consumers in the Northeast. My family is incredibly important to me so I wanted to stay close to them. And since I did Commonwealth Connection Academy, an online school, for high school so Escoffier Online fit well!
EO: How do you feel it will help you in your future career?
SS: Escoffier is helping to perfect my techniques for both cooking and baking. It has been an honor to be a part of Escoffier and I’m excited to be an alumni of the baking program and soon to be culinary program too.
EO: What do you love most about being able to apply the farm-to-table principal to your cooking?
SS: I love that I can give local farmers and vendors business. I like to buy fresh, local produce and products. Local first. We would be no where without farmers and local businesses!
EO:Tell me about the cooking you do for private events and gatherings.
SS: I love to bake and cook for private parties like graduation parties, anniversaries and holidays. I like to get to know people and offer them organic, fresh, homemade foods. I love to talk to my clients and hear their comments about my food. Especially in the summer, I like to bake for fairs and see what everyone is making and how they create it.