Our December Student of the Month is Farah Kassem Hamade. She is an International student currently enrolled in the Associate of Applied Science degree in Culinary Arts program. Farah is a former teacher from Lebanon. Read her inspiring story and testimonial about her experience at Culinary Institute LeNôtre.
Name: Farah Kassem Hamade
Home country: Lebanon
Program: A.A.S. Culinary Arts
- What did you before culinary school?
I pursued a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education and worked at the American Community School at Beirut. Being surrounded by kids was a blessing and I learned so much from them. It changed me a lot!
- Why the change?
I am currently 22 years old and I still have so much to experience and accomplish. I would hate to grow up saying ‘what if’. Cooking is my other passion and the financial resources have finally become possible. This however, doesn’t mean I won’t go back to teaching.
- What would you like to do with your degree?
I am passionate about two different fields so why not combine them? Kids are able to grasp concepts at a young age; so they are capable of learning a light version of the culinary life. I want to introduce them to cooking fun, healthy, and delicious food.
- How is it like to be an International Student in Houston?
Moving out of a small semi-conventional culture into a huge open-minded culture is a major life change for me. It is not an easy step to take but anyone passionate about something knows that nothing is an obstacle! Such exposure is what I need to build on my experience.
- What was your inspiration that led you to wanting to become a chef?
You can’t explain why you are passionate about something in life… you just are! Food is art and it’s always been a field I never grew tired of.
- Describe your classroom experience.
Lebanese, Russian, Mexican, Vietnamese, American, French and so forth…Can you imagine having all these cultures in one classroom?! It’s beyond amazing. We are all of different ages and cultures learning a lot from each other; that’s why it’s a very special classroom!
- Why did you choose Culinary Institute LeNôtre?
CIL is a great compromise, a French school situated in an American culture, exactly what I wanted to get the best of both worlds.
- Do you do anything besides cooking? Hobbies?
Reading – Writing poetry and short stories – Traveling to new places and meeting different people – practicing yoga – singing – and EATING!!!