That’s The Way by J. Alan Garcia

25 09 2008

This past year has probably been the most intense, educational, and joyful year in my life. Well up to this point. It wasnt only my experience in school but also my experience in the restaurant industry. I have learned so many things in the past year it is almost impossible to explain them all. Not just in the culinary world but also in growing up, in responsibility. I have learned that hard work, commitment, and a good attitude can get you through a lot of places. This past year has changed me a lot than how I was two years ago. I didnt even think that I was going to go to college two years ago. I was still in high school, and lets just say that I wasnt the best student. There were only a few classes and activities that I was interested in. We only had one cooking class in high school. It was kind of lame. Nothing really about working in a restaurant. Nothing cool. Most of what I would do during my day would be playing video games, reading comics, cooking, and playing guitar. Which is my second passion. I didnt care about my career after high school. Because honestly I didnt think I was going to go anywhere. I got a lot of bad grades in high school. Towards the end I didnt even think that I was going to graduate. I put myself and my family under a lot of stress. But I made it through. I graduated.   

      The people who actually encouraged me to go to culinary school were my sister Bertha and my brother-in-law. The two people who are probably closet to me. My sister would show me how to cook and bake things at home when I was growing up. She is always the one closet to me and is an inspiration. And my brother-in-law for making me realize that I needed to go to college. I wanted to either go to a culinary school or to study music. I chose to study food. So the day after I graduated I went looking around at different schools to see which one I would most like to attend. I picked CHIC. Then I found out the my best friend Luis Munis also thought about going there and that he was still looking around. I told him to come with me and he did, and there we were. I worked at a few jobs during school. I worked in a pizzeria as a dishwasher were I was bossed around by a jerk. I learned how much abuse I could take there. I lasted there for a year. My other job that I got which I still work at is Sullivans Steakhouse in Naperville as a busser. I learned many things over there. Things that you cant learrn in school. That is also where I am doing my externship. But the most I learned over the year was at school. I learned the most important skills I need to succeed in this industry. I learned how to take charge and be a leader. A chef. Every chef at school has toughtme something important. The one chef that had the most Impact on me was Chef Fuente. No offense to any other chef I had. They were all good. It is also in school where I met some great people. Some good friends. Many of them I will miss dearly. But hopefully I can stay in touch with some of them. Because I would hate to not be able to see any of them again. They have all become close to me over the past year. So what have I learned this past year besides how to make a stock, how to make even perfect cuts, how to make a sauce and saute, etc. I learned how to work hard, how to be responsible, and how to be a better person. And “Thats the Way it ought to be”.




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