Name: Saerom Park
Hometown: South Korea
Current city: Texas city
Course of study: Baking & Pastry Diploma
Year of graduation: December 2018
What was your inspiration that led you to wanting to become a chef?
I started baking cakes from watching Youtube videos after I got a Kitchen Aid as a gift. I enjoyed looking for different recipes online and found myself fully engaged in the moment whenever I was baking. It didn’t take me too long to decide that Baking & Pastry is something that I want to do full time.
What did you do before culinary school?
I was a nurse in South Korea for the past 9 years.
If a different field, why the change?
A career in nursing was very satisfying, but the intensity of physical and emotional labor at ICU for nearly a decade had wore me out for a quite some time. When an opportunity for a career change to me, bakery came to my mind the first. I helped people with medical care. Now I want to make people happy with my pastry.
What is the most important thing you learned so far at CIL? If you just started, what are you most looking forward to?
I just started my program. I am mostly interested in designing and coloring.
Describe your classroom experience / academic classes and labs?
I love my class. Everyone is so kind and helpful. I look forward to spending the rest of my education with them.
What are your projects for after graduation?
I want to gain different experiences first whether it be at hotels or restaurants. But my ultimate goal is to open up my own pastry shop.
What would you say to other students interested in studying at CIL and the industry?
It is an amazing opportunity to learn traditional as well as innovative skills from French chefs. Don’t miss it!
What is the best meal you’ve ever had? (The food, the place, the people, the experience…)
When I was volunteering for a humanitarian mission in Afghanistan, a patient brought me a home made naan bread as a thank you. This probably is the most memorable, if not the best meal I ever had.
What is your favorite restaurant in Houston?
There are just too many good restaurants to name one. Few of my favorites include Roka Akor, Sud Italian, and Etoile.