Student Spotlight – Patti Cook
Meet Patti who is a current Culinary Arts student with Escoffier Online International Culinary Academy. We hope you enjoy hearing her story!
1. What is your background and training?
I have always loved cooking, food books, and learning. I attempted my first meringues when I was 5. While earning my Bachelor’s of Art at Juniata College, I was the egg cook in the college cafeteria. Then while earning both my Doctorate of Education and Master’s of Science at the University of Vermont, I cooked at Leunig’s Old World Café.
I have twenty-five years’ experience in teaching college students and working in the food world. My background includes serving as the Dean of Faculty Development at the New England Culinary Institute, as a Champlain College faculty member, and as a recipe developer and tester for EatingWell magazine. Currently, I am developing an app for new cooks and writing an associated blog to go with it (www.wordstocookby.com); teach nutrition based cooking classes at the Visiting Nurse Association; am a culinary coach at Mansfield Hall; and teach communication classes at Community College of Vermont.
2. What inspired you to join Escoffier Online?
I was excited about being in one of the first online culinary programs in the world. I’ve always loved school and learning. I have wanted to go to culinary school for a while, but there weren’t feasible opportunities nearby. When I looked at all my options, Escoffier online was best choice for me especially because I’m self-directed and relatively comfortable with technology.
3. What are your plans once you finish the online culinary program?
My passion is the places where food and education come together. My plans are to continue to create opportunities to teach about food and cooking.
4. How has your experience been with finding the position you are in today?
I think many great job opportunities happen because of networking. I got the position at Mansfield Hall by talking with a friend who knew someone else who knew about this program. She gave me the contact information and I followed up. I got a perfect job, for me, as a culinary coach. I’ve been able to create vibrant and sustainable freelance work, which is what I enjoy. I know for sure that no employer is going to come knock at your door…you have to get out there and talk with people.
5. What advice would you give to your fellow students when looking for a job after finishing the Escoffier online program?
First is to do a great job in school, and this includes developing a quality e-portfolio. I also think it is important to have a professional resume and business cards. And, really important, is to create excellent LinkedIn and Face Book pages/profiles (that include a link to your e-portfolio). Last, but not least, don’t shortchange yourself or your dreams. For me, I know if I want it and am willing to work hard for it—it’s more likely to happen.
Culinary Arts Student
We thank Patti for sharing her journey 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 (877) 452-5489 or [email protected]