Student Spotlight – Robin Cazan
Meet Robin who is a Culinary Arts graduate with Escoffier Online International Culinary Academy. We hope you enjoy hearing her story!
I’ve had a passion food and cooking since I can remember—gardening, creating menus, themed food gatherings, shopping and the list goes on. My official culinary “career” didn’t begin though until I was 17 where I was a cook at a nursing home in my hometown of Boise, Idaho. In my early 20’s, I moved to Scottsdale, Arizona where I worked at a hospital in foodservice for many years, enjoying several different roles involving food and nutrition. My passion for food quickly became apparent to my boss at that time. I was recruited to assist with planning events and menus, as well as, creating and preparing recipes. And it didn’t end there—an opportunity came about allowing me to assist in opening and managing a specialty soup/sandwich restaurant owned by the hospital. In my spare time I attended school, focusing on Foodservice Management. I also joined a small group cooking class with emphasis on rustic Italian and French cuisine. What I thought was going to be short-lived, ended up being three years of incredible learning!
Returning back to my hometown, 11 years ago, I started working at ConAgra Foods. Today, I’m still at ConAgra Foods, in Marketing. While working full-time, I manage to enjoy my passion for all things food. I’ve catered several small special events—reunions, wedding receptions and intimate dinner parties. I’ve also received certification as a Personal Chef with the American Personal and Private Chef Association. And now most recently, I’m excited to announce that I have published a cookbook titled Soup It Up!, available through Amazon.com and various local outlets. And, equally as exciting, I have received my certification with Escoffier Online International Culinary Academy!
I have a lot of knowledge and experience in the food industry but I wanted to add more credibility in the form of education. Money and time always played a key role in whether I could attend culinary school. Then one day I came across an ad on the Internet for Escoffier Online International Culinary Academy™. I was immediately drawn in and began researching whether the program would be right for me. My only reservation was how effective an online culinary education could be. I weighed that against the obvious—lower cost than traditional culinary school, self-paced/flexible schedule and the convenience of learning from home. It quickly became clear to me that this was the answer to fulfilling one of my dreams and I immediately enrolled.
Given my culinary knowledge and experience, I enrolled as an enthusiast. But make no mistake, I found the courses to be very challenging at times and I always learned something new. I have nothing but good to say about the entire program—from the administrative staff to course curriculum to chef mentors to quizzes and tests—it was a worthwhile experience that I would recommend to anyone interested in the wonderful world of culinary. For my needs, gaining additional knowledge and credibility were important but the self-paced component proved to be invaluable.
My advice to future students—what are you waiting for! Once enrolled, enjoy, first and foremost. Don’t be shy, ask questions of the chef mentors and fellow students. Share successes and tips, as well as, what didn’t work and why—use the chat function on the portal—it’s a great tool. Lastly and what was really important for me was being disciplined and not feeling rushed.
What now? I hope to start my own personal chef business, start a food blog, and write and publish more cookbooks. I have also remained connected with Escoffier post-graduation. There are so many resources and networking available to both current students and graduates.
Culinary Arts Graduate
We thank Robin 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].