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Lisa Nguyen, October 2015 Student of the Month

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Lisa Nguyen headshot

The Love for Family, Pastry, and Knowledge drives her Life: Let us introduce you to Lisa Nguyen, our October Student of the Month!

Name: Lisa Nguyen
Hometown: Chau Doc, Vietnam
Current City : Houston
Course of Study: A.A.S. Baking and Pastry Arts
Year of Graduation: May 2016

“It takes a lot of hard work and patience to perfect any skill, you’ll learn from your mistakes”

Lisa enjoys exploring new restaurants and trying different food while enjoying time with her friends and family. Rooting from childhood, read more about her and why she is pursuing her degree in Baking and Pastry!

A lot of people get inspired about their future careers since childhood. Some become firefighters, others teachers, and Lisa Nguyen a Chef! Lisa’s inspiration is her mother but her curiosity to try new recipes and techniques inspire her to be a Pastry Chef.

Lisa’s family left Vietnam when she was about 6 months old and fled the country in a boat. They were in the ocean for 45 days without any food and miraculously made it to Malaysia. Here, they went through all the camps and came to America when she was 3 years old.

Her mother became her inspiration because with only $50 would make cakes and sell them to her neighbors, turning this into a restaurant. Lisa remembers when she was young she told her mother, “One day I’m going to make cakes, sell them and I’m going to take care of you”. As she thought about this a few weeks ago for her speech class, she realized she was making her dream come true.

Currently, Lisa is completing her Associates of Applied Science Degree in Baking and Pastry. “It takes a lot of hard work and patience to perfect any skill,  you’ll learn from your mistakes so never give up”, says Lisa. This dedication may be the reason her instructors  have continuously mentioned her and why she is our Student of the Month.

Lisa with Chef Francis at Ben E. Keith competition
Lisa Nguyen and Chef Francis Fauquenot at the Ben E. Keith 12th A.C.F. Competition

As any student, there have been times when she’s doubted herself. However, the CIL family has helped her in her journey. “My experience in school so far has been amazing. I had the chance to work side-by-side with some of my chefs, they gave me very valuable advice and they continuously encourage me to express myself through my dessert and not to doubt my abilities”.

Don’t let your fears stop you from achieving your dream career, as Lisa’s motivational quote reads, “If at first you don’t succeed, try and try again” and so she has. Some advice from her is if you think you know everything about baking, you will be surprised how much more the chefs know-there’s something new everyday.

Lisa with CIL classmates
Culinary Institute LeNôtre students at the Ben E. Keith 12th A.C.F. Competition

As shown in the pictures, Lisa has previously participated in the Ben E. Keith competition. Not only was this her first competition but it was also her first time doing plated deserts. “Everything was very new and the chefs were very nice to let me use the kitchen every day before class to work on it”. As Lisa keeps doing a great job in class and outside of it, Chef Christelle asked her to help her be her left hand for the Martin Preferred Foods Competition on October 5th. Lisa said it made her feel really good because Chef Christelle had injured her left hand and was inspired by her drive. “Chef Christelle’s piece broke twice and continued to put it together. Very inspiring to see it happens to the best of us and she won!”.  Lisa would like to participate in the next Ben E Keith competition and possibly one day compete against her inspiration, Chef Christelle.

Lisa with teammates at pastry exhibition
Chef Christelle, Lisa and Alex at the Martin Preffered Foods Annual Show

Click here to learn more about our A.A.S. Baking and Pastry Arts