Also serving the communities of De Luz, Rainbow, Camp Pendleton, Pala and Pauma

My culinary journey has just begun

It's an honor to be a part of this chefs dueling competition. I'm a part of the advanced culinary class at Fallbrook High School and for many years I have been obsessed with cooking. I haven't fully figured out what to do after high school, but my aspirations are to either go to a community college or go to a culinary school to improve and share my skills with the world.

If I were to go to a culinary school, I would love to share the food ideas I have learned over my years of cooking at home and school. Now to tell the story on how the world of cooking came my way.

When I was young, I was always a picky eater and still to this day I am, that has never stopped me from trying new foods. As a little kid, all I really ate was cereal and milk; occasionally I would watch my dad cook dinner. It was fun at times; he would let me put the oil on the pan or move around the food even when it was fully cooked.

Then when I was about 9 or 10 years old, my dad started getting into the health benefits of foods and that's when it all started. We got rid of any unhealthy foods: flour, cereal, milk, corn starch, etc. As time went on, I learned to cook eggs for myself in the mornings and we started buying all organic produce.

As the years went by my dad learned more and more about health and how big food companies create their foods in factories. Either way, once I started cooking for myself sometimes, I would cook dinner for my family to show off my skill. I learned new recipes and new ways to cook ground beef, steak, eggs, and salads.

My dad didn't fully trust me with a sharp chef's knife just yet since I was only 10 years old. Once he knew I was ready, he started teaching me how to cut different foods, and the best methods for each one. I did cut myself when I was 13 years old with a steak knife when trying to dice an onion. It hurt pretty bad but that didn't stop me from cooking and cutting my own food.

Once I joined Fallbrook High School sophomore year, I didn't really know anything about the classes, so I just chose from what I thought was cool. When junior year came along, I found the Culinary Arts class and I didn't hesitate to join.

I learned a lot from the beginners' class of culinary arts, learning how to make and slicing different types of foods was exciting. I also got to show the other students some of the knife technetics I learned at home. Near the end of junior year, Mr. Cruz showed me an opportunity for a job at a BBQ place. I took up the offer, applied, and two weeks later I got my first job.

Now I've been working at the Firehouse Que & Brew in Fallbrook for almost a year. Still to this day I'm extremely grateful that Mr.Cruz gave me that job opportunity. Now I'm in advanced culinary and on the verge of graduating this June. I do feel that I've come a long way from learning about food. To this day I'm still preparing for what the future holds because my culinary journey has just begun.


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