|| Robin M. |
|| Baking & Pastry Arts|
| Start Date:
|| September 2009|
| Graduating Class:
|| March 2010|
| Current Position:
When did you decide you wanted a cooking career? Why?
Food has always been a hobby. In the last few years it became a place that I escaped to when the rest of my life was too overwhelming. Whether it was watching hours at a time of the Food Network, perusing new recipes or finding any excuse to make a cake, I was spending more and more time obsessing over baking and cooking. On a basic level, food is one thing we all have in common. We use it to nourish, heal, celebrate and entertain ourselves. My inspiration for what I create comes directly from the people I create it for. Itís my way of connecting to people, taking care of them and showing that I was thinking about them when I made it. I didnít so much choose this as a career as I allowed my passion for food to overtake my life.
What inspired you to get into the food industry?
It was my fiancťe who encouraged me to go to pastry school. I never considered it a possibility until then and I couldnít have done it without his support.
What obstacles or challenges did you have to overcome to pursue your career?
I havenít been out of the work force since I graduated high school. Leaving my job to change careers was a big challenge. I had to just close my eyes and take a leap of faith. The program offered new challenges every day, from learning how to work with others in the kitchen to giving myself space to learn and not expect immediate perfection.
Why did you choose Pacific Institute Of Culinary Arts to pursue your education?
I chose PICA because it was a relatively large school with an intensive program. I didnít have years to be in school so I appreciated the 6-month program.
Overall, how would you rate the education and your instructors at Pacific Institute Of Culinary Arts?
I was very pleased with my instructors. I learned a lot from them and enjoyed every day. I feel that you get out what you put in. I feel strongly that I did my best everyday to get the most that I could. More than once I was told to go home already!
During your advanced training, you had the opportunity to work at the Vancouver Club (named the Olympic Club) during the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games in February along side Executive Chef Sean Cousins and his team. What was this experience like?
It was interesting to experience the environment of a large kitchen. I will mostly likely never work in a hotel or large restaurant so it was nice to have a few days there just to see what itís like.
Now that you have graduated, what will you be doing?
I have started my own bakeshop within a local coffee-roasting house, Viva Java in Richmond. I will be providing pastries to an existing clientele in addition to creating special occasion cakes on order. I hope to also do some teaching in the future, as I have always wanted to teach young people how to cook and bake.
Do you have any advice for students who are thinking of entering the Food Industry?
If you truly love it then you canít go wrong. If you think you kinda maybe like it a bit, there are easier ways to make money my friend.