My affinity for cooking started when I was probably 12 years old. I would watch the chefs on the television make wonderful things and I wanted nothing more than to be like them. My first chef role model was Emeril Laggase.
When I graduated from High School I had received a scholarship to attend the Culinary Arts program at the local tech college. I attended this school for a few months before I realized that it was taking me nowhere. I had studied different culinary schools on the internet and found that the school I was going to wasn't giving me the education that I desired. In the words of the eighteen year old me "They're teaching me to work at Denny's" and "I can receive this same education working at McDonald's." I decided that my efforts would be better spent on other things.
When I was twenty I enrolled at Utah State University. I was apprehensive because I didn't know if I was going to like it. I still loved to cook and even looked at the cooking courses that they offered but decided to take other classes. I wanted to go to medical school. It only took my one semester to decide that it was a decision that I needed to re-think. I became extremely ill during my first year and wasn't able to attend class like I wanted. It got to the point that if I got out of bed I would have extreme pain throughout my entire body. It's needless to say that I didn't do so well academically. When I started to feel better my grades started to improve but the past was still there to haunt me. I tried for the next two years to try and get back on track, including going to my old professors with forms and doctors notes asking them to help me lift these terrible marks that I had. This got me nowhere so I was determined to prove that I was a good student.
I fumbled my way through different majors, nothing really sticking out to me. I finally had a realization that I almost had my degree completed in English. I just needed to get into the program. I went and talked with the program adviser who informed me that it would take at least two years for me to even be accepted into this program. He also told me that it would be better for me to drop out and not attend USU anymore. In fact he went as far as to tell me that I should think about not attending any college or University. When I left his office that day I called my wife and informed her that it was time for us to leave. I knew at that moment that I didn't want to attend a school that didn't want me.
I bounced around for the next few years with my ambitions bouncing left and right. I moved down to Utah County to attend what I thought was going to be a good school. I was dabbling again in the culinary arts. I took all of the required classes but the instructors gave me the run around and told me that I needed to take a few more courses in order to be accepted. When I took those courses they told me that was in but I needed to wait for my acceptance letter. I waited for four months and nothing came. This broke my heart and I decided that I just needed to take a break. I was finally getting my life back together and attending Weber State University. I had high hopes for myself and was finally ready to settle down and find a career. One day I came home and had a breakdown in front of my wife. I informed her how much I disliked the formal college setting. It wasn't a pretty sight. We talked and hashed out life goals and plans. I told her that I had always wanted to go to culinary school and had given up on that dream because it seemed too illogical.
My first day working as a cook at Mckay Dee hospital I knew that after so many years of fighting with this desires I needed to go to Culinary School. When I had worked there for six months(it was one of the requirements to get into the school) I applied to the Culinary Institute of America. It was agonizing as I waited for a response. I wanted to get in so bad. On June 9, 2014 I received a phone call informing me that I had been accepted to the CIA.
I'm still on cloud nine today. I am writing this to inform all of you that I have been accepted to one of the top culinary schools in the country. I will be starting on January 6 2015. It is so amazing and I'm so grateful for everyone who gave me the courage and drive to finally reach for this dream. I'm excited to finally do something that I have wanted to do for sixteen years.