Syrena Johnson Graduates in Style!

NY Daily News: Syrena Johnson graduates in style

Syrena Johnson, first winner of Chefs Move! scholarship, graduates in style from the International Culinary Institute

The New Orleans native, 22, was mentored by chefs Michael Gulotta and Kelly Fields and worked at leading New York restaurants including Red Rooster and North End Grill

BY PATTY LEE / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS SUNDAY, AUGUST 26, 2012, 6:00 AM

The first recipient of John Besh’s Chefs Move! scholarship is heading home with a degree from one of New York’s finest cooking schools.

Syrena Johnson, a New Orleans native, graduated from the International Culinary Institute last week and celebrated like a true chef — by cooking dinner at SoHo’s culinary salon, City Grit.

The event, called “August in August,” reunited Johnson with her mentors and helped benefit the nonprofit.

Besh, who owns several restaurants in New Orleans, co-founded the organization with Jessica Bride last year to give their city’s at-risk youth a chance at a culinary career.

“Cooking was always a part of me,” says Johnson, “but I never thought it would be my future, something I’d do professionally.”