Name: Nick Wooley
Hometown: Dallas, TX
Current city: League City, TX
Course of study: Cuisine
Year of graduation: 2017
Current or project for Job/Internship: Le Bistro
Personal motto: “Follow your dreams or you will spend the rest of your life working for someone who did.”
We can answer the question, who is Nick Wooley in a short sentence, a well rounded student. He is an excellent student in all areas of his involvement at CIL. Per one of his Academic Instructors, Mrs. Kimberly Evans, “One of my favorite things about having Nick in class, is that he takes the initiative to go beyond the class work requirements. He contributes ideas and work to the class. Nick very rarely misses a class, while maintaining a full course load, family, and working at the Bistro. He is passionate about the industry, and I appreciate hearing his latest restaurant recommendations as well.”
Not only does he consistently maintain an A average in his courses, he works at Le Bistro, the fine dining gourmet restaurant within Culinary Institute LeNotre. Nick has been nominated by his peers repeatedly for team leader positions on projects which demonstrates the characteristics in him that make him stand out as our Student Of the Month. Who he is as a person can better be described by the Student Success Counselor. She says,
“I value many unique and sincere characteristics in our students, but kindness and warmth is one of the most important to me. I was personally notified of Nick’s visible smile shown everyday when walking into our building. That smile, and a simple ‘Hello’ to others on a daily basis, is what was remembered the most by an employee at CIL. A smile can change a persons day. I think we can all agree he encompasses many qualities that shine brightly at CIL and we have recognized this together.”
Nick is an amazing student that like many, did not start in the restaurant industry.
- What was your inspiration that led you to wanting to become a chef?
I LOVE food! I never had anyone around me growing up that was a great cook, so I’ve always wanted to learn. I finally decided to quit my job and give it a shot.
- What did you do before culinary school?
6 years in the mortgage industry.
Owned a debt settlement business for 3 years.
Was a purchasing agent for a fluid sealing company for 4 years.
Worked as a GM of an industrial packing company for 2 years.
- If a different field, why the change?
I hated my last two jobs. The money was great, but I wanted to do something that I’m passionate about.
- What is the most important thing you learned so far at CIL? Do you have a specific
A willingness and a desire to learn makes all the difference.
- Describe your classroom experience / academic classes and labs/ any anecdote?
I’ve had a great experience overall. I have made several friends for life here and I loved working together with them as a team in my labs.
- What are your projects for after graduation?
I’ve thought about the possibility of becoming a personal chef, but for now I’m just enjying working at the bistro.
- What is your favorite food or beverage?
I love Thai food. A really good curry always does the trick. Favorite beverage is definitely beer. I’m a craft beer lover.
- What is the best meal you’ve ever had? (The food, the place, the people, the experience…)
The best meal I’ve ever had was at Pok Pok in NYC. I was with my wife and we sat at the bar. The bartender was very knowledgeable about the Northern Thai cuisine. Food was PERFECT!
- What is your favorite restaurant in Houston?
Uchi. I love the simplicity and clean flavors of really good Japanese food.