Name: Claudia Gomez
Current city: Houston, Texas
Course of study: AAS Degree in Culinary Arts
Graduation: December 2014
- Claudia, tell us about your story!
I’m from Mexico, born and raised there. After high school, I did surgical technician studies as my family strongly encouraged me to do it. I began to work but I realized that it was not what I liked to do; I wanted to become a chef. I decided to go to Culinary Institute LeNôtre and graduated in 2014 with my Culinary Arts degree. For a year and half, I have worked as a manager at Peli Peli restaurant in Houston, a South African cooking specialized restaurant.
- What inspired you to become a chef?
When I was young, I really enjoyed watching my grandma cooking. Furthermore, cooking for me ties in with a good time and to my culture. You know, in Hispanic culture family meals are very important. Its part of the culture to sit down and take time to enjoy your meal and part of the day with your whole family. Meals are not only moments when you eat but they are also opportunities to reunite with your family or friends and share happy moments; this definitely led me to become a chef.
- How would you describe the impact of your courses at CIL on your daily life?
I use them every day! Sometimes at CIL, I did not realize how useful certain courses were. I mean cooking classes were obviously useful for me, but I was unaware of how cost control courses, computer skills, menu management would help me now in my current job. At CIL you know how to become both a chef and a manager.
- Any memorable moments as a student?
I really enjoyed my french internship in Vendée! It was one of my goals to go there and learn more about different food and people and CIL gave me the opportunity. A memorable moment was when my supervisor whom was the chef of the restaurant asked me to make a guacamole, since it is a Mexican specialty. He really liked it and asked me to teach him!
Some of our students have done their practicum in France. Show below is the clip from the French TV News episode they were portrayed in , “Le Journal de la Vendee”.
- Do you have any projects in mind or in action?
Peli Peli restaurant is growing. We are going to open a new restaurant in Houston in August and in Katy in December. I am in charge of launching these projects. That’s very challenging!