Year of Graduation: 2015
Programs: AAS in Hospitality & Restaurant Management, AAS in Culinary Arts and AAS in Baking and Pastry Arts
Current Occupation: Executive Chef and Owner of The Bird Food Truck
Where do you come from? Hawaii
Personal motto: “The Fighter: Never Gave Up!”
Carvis Turner is the proud owner of a Gourmet Food-Truck in Houston, The Bird. He just graduated from the Hospitality & Restaurant Management AAS Program, after completing degrees in Culinary and Baking and Pastry Arts at CIL.
- What was your inspiration that led you to wanting to become a chef?
My grandma owned 2 restaurants, my uncle manages restaurants in Hawaii, and I’ve always been in the kitchen with my mom, dad, and siblings as a child.
- What did you do before culinary school?
I joined the US Air Force in 2008 where I graduated basic training. I continued my studies in electronic principles at Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi, Mississippi and went to Advance Individual Flight Training at Sheppard Air Force Base in Wichita Falls, Texas. Unfortunately, due to health problems I was discharged from the Air Force. After that, I worked at a small law firm in the Galleria before taking another assignment as a handy man in an apartment community.
- Why the change?
I’ve always wanted to be a chef. I love food; the science behind it, the taste, and the sharing experience with people. I joined the military as a way to make my mark in the world hoping to do something special. Once I got out I was lost and did not know what to do. I tried a few things until I saw the open house sign in front of the Culinary Institute LeNôtre. I went in and to my great pleasure, the tour around the school and presentation brought back all the feelings of my childhood. I knew this is what I wanted to do.
- Describe your classroom experience
I love this school for various reasons. I am a returning alumni. I graduated the Associates Culinary program and the Associates Baking and Pastry program, so most of the credits required for the Management Degree are from classes I’ve already taken. That being said, I would not have a full schedule starting off the returning term. So instead of being behind on my graduation schedule, the administration allowed me to do my practicum first. This allowed my next terms schedule to be full. It is little things like the school’s flexibility that allow people like me with hectic schedules to graduate on time. As far as classrooms go (speaking on my previous experiences), I loved it. The labs were fun because my instructors Chef Francis, Chef Olivier, and Chef Christelle connected with their students. They hold a certain professionalism that demanded respect, but their funny and humorous personalities made it easy to talk to and approach them for help and guidance. The knowledge and skills I have learned from the classrooms are beyond anything I’ve ever seen.
- What would you like to do with your degree?
When I first started school I was looking for a job. Johnny Perez, who is great at job placement, got me an opportunity to work for seven time Culinary Olympian Charles Carroll, and later with Certified Master Chef Fritz Gitschner.
Also, since my graduation I have applied and been granted a loan to start my own food truck kitchen. This is all possible due to my experience and training at LeNôtre. Without my schooling and knowledge acquired this opportunity would not have been possible. Thanks to everyone.
- Do you do anything besides cooking? Hobbies?
Well besides cooking, I’m a father of two boys; Carvis D. Turner Jr. 4 yrs old. & Jeremiah L. Turner 2 yrs old.
- Where can we find you?
Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. I also will be serving my cuisines in front of the Institute in the mornings. So keep an eye out for The Bird.