Q: Can you share your educational background and work experience so far?
A: I have been studying at ITS since 2019 and I am currently in my 4th year pursuing a higher national diploma in food preparation & production management. I have two more years until I complete my bachelor’s degree in culinary arts. While some people view ITS negatively, I believe it has pushed me further in the hospitality industry. It has provided me with valuable knowledge and unexpected opportunities. Additionally, I have been working in the F&B industry since I turned sixteen, always seeking roles that can expand my skills and techniques.
Q: What drives your passion for the F&B industry?
A: My passion for pastry has been ingrained in me from a young age, even though none of my relatives work in the F&B industry. It’s the one thing I’ve always been certain about. As a child, I went to great lengths to pursue my passion, attending cake decorating classes and watching cooking videos. The love for pastry has always been within me, fueling my determination to succeed. It’s a calling that I can’t ignore.
Q: Please describe yourself and your work ethic using five words.
A: Passionate, ambitious, persistent, creative, empathetic.
Q: Where do you see yourself in the next five years?
A: In the next five years, I envision myself graduating from ITS and potentially living abroad, combining my passions for pastry and content creation. I aspire to work in an environment that allows me to explore both aspects, creating visually appealing pastry creations and sharing them with others through various media platforms. This amalgamation of my interests would be an ideal path for my personal and professional growth.
Q: Could you share one of the most rewarding experiences you’ve had in your profession?
A: One of the most rewarding experiences in my culinary career occurred during a dinner buffet shift at a hotel. I noticed a deaf couple communicating with each other using sign language. Witnessing their interaction inspired me to learn American Sign Language (ASL). Although I’m not fluent, I have acquired a few phrases to communicate with non-verbal individuals. Being able to assist and make others feel seen and appreciated in their own language is immensely fulfilling to me.
Q: What growth do you anticipate for the hospitality industry in the next 20 years?
A: Looking ahead, I hope to witness improvements in the hospitality industry, such as more stable working hours. The norm of 12-hour days, five to six times a week, leads to burnout among young chefs. Additionally, I desire a future where students and commis chefs are treated with equal respect as their higher-positioned peers. Instead of humiliation or degradation, mentorship and guidance should be the foundation of their professional development.