BY SYRENA JOHNSON, NYC: This is the day we’ve all been waiting for: the day I go from being a culinary student to a culinary graduate!
I can’t tell you how happy and proud I am of myself for accomplishing everything I have accomplished since the beginning of this journey. I have made so many relationships and seen so much since I been here this will definitely be an experience I will not forget. School has given me such a different outlook on food and life.
I am grateful I had the opportunity to attend The International Culinary Institute of New York. All the chefs and instructors there were more than helpful to me in my efforts in trying to become the best cook possible.
I am also thankful that I had the opportunity to work for two great chefs Chef Jonathon Benno of Lincoln Restaurant and Chef Floyd Cordoz of Northend Grill. Working at both of these places equipped me to perform efficiently in a professional kitchen and I appreciated every second of being there.
Now I just want to take the time to thank some people who throughout this whole process became somewhat of a family to me.
Jessica Bride: who if had not thought up this whole concept I would not be here right now nether would Chris or Calvin (the 2 new winners!)
Chef John Besh: if it was not for your expertise in what you do and love for New Orleans this scholarship would not be as successful
Emery Whalen: who does absolutely everything possible to make the world continue to spin (lol)
Chef Mike Gulotta: who since the beginning worked with me hands on to try to perfect my craft and build my character
Chef Kelly Fields: one of many mentors always offering encouraging words, helpful advice and a good laugh here and there
Melissa Harris-Perry: for inviting me on her show twice! and giving me my media training
Omar Buckner: who if it was not for him discovering the program and pushing me to go forward with it I would not even be here.
All these people plus many more that have been there to support me. I truly appreciate it and can’t thank you enough for being with me through this tough time of being away from home for so long, but now it has all paid off!
To everyone who supported financially to the Chefs Move! organization, I want to give you a special thank you. It is because of you that I’ve made it here. This is a positive movement that needs to be supported. I am the perfect example of that. Let’s continue to keep this tradition going because Chefs really do move!