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Hajar Khochbar, Student of the Month


Photo of Hajar with her quote over it.Hajar Khochberova
from Balakan, Azerbaijan
A.A.S. in Baking and Pastry
Date: December 2016
Motto: “Never Give Up!”

Living in such a fast paced world we must remember to make time for the things we love. One way of doing this is by keeping family traditions alive which maintains the unity and bond between each other. This, such as Hajar’s story, was the root of her enjoyment in baking and cooking.

“The baking and cooking habit mostly came from our culture back in my home country Azerbaijan. Going out to restaurants to eat is not very popular so we have get together parties with our big families and cooking and baking ourselves. Having been raised in such an environment, we try to continue our tradition here in US and rather than meeting in restaurants we gather at someone’s house and start cooking and baking while socializing with new friends and families”

One day, as Hajar and her husband were watching Master Chef, she says they began filling out an application to be part of this show.

“I realized I had to stay away from home for many months and could not do it… also I recognized that I am not going to stay at home for all my life. I decided that I have to own a business in an area that I am good at and this was my dream “Bakery and Pastry” shop. Well, the fact that my family loves how I cook and bake does not necessarily mean that everyone will love it. So I decided not to rush and get the proper bakery and pastry education. I started looking for education opportunities and there were different options to pick from. My faith in french style bakery and pastry lead me to decide registering to Culinary Institute Lenotre…I visited CIL and fell in love with the kitchen and work that has been taught here…”.

From here on, Hajar has been taking classes in Baking and Pastry. “So far, all my classes have been fantastic. The biggest reason for that is our Chefs and classmates. It is people making the workplace full of fun and joy and I love being here and learning something new everyday…I am so glad I made this choice and I enjoy every minute of my life spending it at CIL”.


Hajar flatting dough on cookie sheet.

Finished cake with frosting flowers.

Hajar using the mixing machine.