July 2017 Students of the Term

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Students of the Term

 

Asiauna Randall
Course of study: Cuisine
Joined the CIL family on: October 2016
Favorite Pastime: Hunting
The Success Story: Asiauna was easily recognized as a dedicated and respected student at CIL. Asiauna has shown Academic achievement in her outstanding con- sistent grades, as well as her kindness shown among her peers and Chefs. Asiauna was officially nominated by her Chef Instructor, Francis Fauquenot.

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Zina Upchurch
Course of study: Hospitality & Restaurant Management AAS
Joined the CIL family on: October 2016
Favorite Pastime: Spending time with family and sailing
The Success Story: Zina has demonstrated her courageous determination throughout her time her at CIL and has a proud Veteran of the Navy! Zina took the initiative and volunteered to become an active and positive voice for her fellow peers and the School. Zina was chosen as one of the official “Peer Leaders” at Culinary Institute LeNôtre. Her instructors commend her dedication, positive spirits, and her ‘go-getter’ attitude visible among all who encounter her! Zine was officially nominated by her instructor, Kimberly Evans, for the July 2017 term.

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Tarik Perkins
Course of study: Baking & Pastry AAS
Joined the CIL family on: March 2016
Favorite Pastime: Enjoys both coaching and playing sports
The Success Story: Tarik has humble beginnings and has demonstrated his commitment to attending school no matter what his circumstances may be. Tarik displays the ultimate respect and kindness in his lab, and in his personal life. Tarik is definitely a highly dedicated young man with secured accomplishments now and in the future! Tarik was officially nominated by his Chef, Francis Grosse.

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Asiauna Randall

Name: Asiauna Randall
Age: 19
Hometown: Rosharon, TX
Current city: Pearland, TX
Course of study: Cuisine
Year of graduation: March 2018

• What was your inspiration that led you to wanting to become a chef?
Seeing the effect that my food could have on another person, traveling the world and seeing how food could bring different cultures and people together.

• What did you do before culinary school?
I came straight out high school and did culinary in high school.

• If a different field, why the change?
If I were to choose a different field, It would have to give me the same joy as cooking but maybe help others more.

• What is the most important thing you learned so far at CIL? Do you have a specific
Sanitation and presentation are one of the biggest things in this field.

• Describe your classroom experience / academic classes and labs/ any anecdote?
It is an amazing experience, you are growing and learning at the same time and you get to see others around you going through the same thing. It is very inspiring because when you come to class you know you will learn new things every day.

• What are your projects for after graduation?
Become a personal chef

• What is your favorite food or beverage?
Alaskan king crab legs

• What is the best meal you’ve ever had? (The food, the place, the people, the experience…)
The food was smoked meats such as liver, kidneys, heart, beef and pork. I was in Japan. People were cooking the meat on spot and the experience was amazing and inspiring that you can cook anywhere and it will still taste amazing.

• What is your favorite restaurant in Houston?
I have not experience the Houston food life yet

 

Zina Upchurch

Name: Zina Upchurch
Age: 48
Hometown: Originally from Pensacola, Florida
Current city: Seabrook, Texas
Course of study: Hospitality & Restaurant Management AAS
Year of graduation: March 2018
Current or project for Job / Internship: I’m hoping to gain an internship with a local hotel.
Personal motto:“What lies behind us and what lies before us are small matters compared to what lies with us. And when we bring what is within us out into the world, miracles happen” -Ralph Waldo Emerson

• What was your inspiration that led you to wanting to become a chef?
I’m a “foodie”! I enjoy experimenting with recipes in my kitchen and altering them to create dishes that reflect my taste. My desire to try new dishes, flavors, and experience various restaurants in Houston inspired me to attend CIL.

• What did you do before culinary school?
I’m currently serving in the US Navy Reserves as a Yeoman, Administrative Assistant, and I also volunteer for Navy Funeral Honors in the Houston area. Prior to my active duty career in the Navy I was a Wine Sales Representative.

• If a different field, why the change?
At this time in my life I’m able to chase my dreams and culinary school is an aspiration I’ve had since I moved to Houston in 1995 after leaving the Army.

• What is the most important thing you learned so far at CIL? Do you have a specific
My favorite courses have been Wine Fundamentals, Sommelier I & II. I hope to use the knowledge I gained to take The Court of Master Sommeliers (CSM) Entry level exam.

• Describe your classroom experience / academic classes and labs/ any anecdote?
The atmosphere of the classroom is welcoming and enables the students to engage with not only the instructor but with each other, gaining knowledge through their life experiences. Each instructor is a subject expert and brings their own unique knowledge and teaching technique to promote a well-rounded education.

• What are your projects for after graduation?
In the near future, I’d like to open a “Juice Bar” and eventually own a bed & breakfast or boutique hotel.

• What is your favorite food or beverage?
Food – Puerto Rican. My grandmother made the best Pork chops topped with pineapple slices and pineapple brown sugar glaze served with Arroz con gandules.
Beverage – Mojito with Demerra sugar

• What is the best meal you’ve ever had? (The food, the place, the people, the experience…)
My favorite meals are with family and friends at fine dining restaurants, with amazing flavorful cuisine, wine, dim lighting, white tablecloths and exceptional service.
I recently enjoyed a long lunch with a fellow student at Le Bistro and each course was amazing. The atmosphere was relaxing and we lingered enjoying conversation between courses.

• What is your favorite restaurant in Houston?
I have many favorites, it depends on the type of food and the atmosphere I’d like to experience. I’m partial to authentic Italian Restaurants since I lived in Italy for three years while I was in the Army. Mia Bella, the downtown location, is my favorite place for Sunday brunch. My husband and I start with caprese salad while enjoying mimosas and sangria. Then our favorite entrée is one of their egg benedict choices.

 

Tarik Perkins

Name: Tarik Perkins
Age: 36
Hometown: Houston, TX
Current city: Houston, TX
Course of study: Baking & Pastry AAS
Year of graduation: March 2018
Current or project for Job / Internship: Lead Line Cook/Baker
Personal motto: “Be your own worst critic. No one is perfect and no one will ever be, but if you strive for perfection in everything, you will always give your all.”

• What was your inspiration that led you to wanting to become a chef?
When I lived in Sicily the way that a meal brought the family and community together, made me fall in love with cooking. I’ve always had a love for art and being a chef was a way to combine both aspects.

• What did you do before culinary school?
I was a manufacturing supervisor over the first article and problems par division at an oil company. I developed the manufacturing processes of all new experimental parts and corrected the processes of problem parts.

• If a different field, why the change?
I felt as if everything was pushing me toward this path.

• What is the most important thing you learned so far at CIL? Do you have a specific
That just because you graduate from here that doesn’t make you a “chef”. That tittle comes with years of experience and dedication to your craft.

• Describe your classroom experience / academic classes and labs/ any anecdote?
I’ve had a great classroom experience here. I’ve become close to my instructors in a personal level and have learned much from them.

• What are your projects for after graduation?
To first better my craft and eventually open a small old world style bakery.

• What is your favorite food or beverage?
Italian Food

• What is the best meal you’ve ever had? (The food, the place, the people, the experience…)
At a small restaurant in Rome. The appetizer was squid rings, the second course was a squid pasta, the main course was chicken tortellini and dessert was tiramisu.

• What is your favorite restaurant in Houston?
Fleming’s

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