Our August 2015 Student of the Month is Janelle Toh, a very talented student from the Philippines. As she looks into expanding her knowledge, Janelle not only has received her Associates Degree in Baking and Pastry Arts but is currently taking our new Level 4 in Advanced Artistic Skills of Pastry Decor. Read her testimonial as she shares more about her and why she enjoys Culinary Institute LeNôtre (CIL)!
Name: Janelle Joy Toh
Hometown: Quezon City, Philippines
Current City : Houston
Course of Study: A.A.S. Baking and Pastry Arts
Year of Graduation: 2014
Personal Motivational Motto: “Don’t worry when you are not recognized, but strive to be worthy of recognition.” -Abraham Lincoln
- Hi Janelle, How did end up at Culinary Institute LeNôtre?
I was actually enrolled at another school and finished one term there before I went to LeNôtre. I wasn’t very happy there because there’s not as much lab hours, and the student-teacher ratio was high in labs. I went to an open house at LeNôtre and was very impressed. Although it is a smaller school, I saw that the environment was good, people knew each other and seemed to be very comfortable with each other. I am also glad that I am trained under experienced French chefs.
- What inspired you to want to become a chef?
I have always had the interest in cooking and baking since I was young, which I think I inherited from my mom. It gives me a sense of fulfillment whenever I see people enjoy and appreciate what I have baked and created, that’s why I decided to make it my profession.
- Describe your class room experience
My favorite thing about the classes at CIL is the class size; it’s small. I was able to learn a lot more because the chefs were there to personally guide me. Unlike other schools that do everything in groups, here I was able to make everything on my own. The lab classes are designed in a way that you learn the fundamental techniques in the first level. As you go on to the higher levels, the same basic techniques are used to create more complicated cakes and desserts.
- What has been a highlight of yours while at Culinary Institute LeNôtre?
One of the things that I really wanted to do when I entered culinary school was to join competitions. And I was able to do that here; not once but twice. The school allowed me to work in their labs to prepare for competition even after I graduated already. I am so grateful for my chef instructors, Chef Francis, Chef Christelle and Chef Pol, for being so encouraging and helpful. They pushed me to do my best, they gave me constructive criticism, and taught me a lot of new techniques along the way.
- What is your favorite food or beverage?
My favorite is still Asian food. I love authentic Chinese dimsum. On occasion, I would crave for Filipino food, food which I grew up eating.
- What would you say to the students interested in studying at CIL ?
There is always something new to learn and always strive to do better. I graduated with my associate degree one year ago, and now I am back in school for the new level 4 advance artistic skills with Chef Christelle. I do not regret my decision to come back. I have learned a lot of new techniques since starting the course.
- Outside of cooking, what do you like to do? Hobbies?
When I’m not baking, I do art related things like painting or drawing.
Take a look a the recipe here:
GUMPASTE – Flower Bouquets and Leaves
Mixing, Rolling, Cutting & Shaping, Painting & Airbrushing
GELATIN WORK – Butterfly and Bow
Mixing, Brushing, Drying, Cutting, Shaping
SUGAR LACE – Lace
Mixing, Spreading, Drying
Mixing & Kneading, Rolling, Covering
HIGH RATIO CAKE
Creaming, Mixing, Baking, Cutting, Icing
Vanilla Sauce Method – Cooking / Italian Meringue – Cooking & Whipping / Mixing, Folding