Friday, June 5, 2009

Alumni Success: Kiel Anderson

The Art Institute of California - Orange County is always pleased to learn of the success of its graduates. Alumni success stories are often featured in the student magazine, Portfolio, and on the walls in building A. Now, alumni success stories will be a regular feature on the OC Art Tales blog. Keep reading below to learn about one of the school's first culinary graduates or pick up a copy of the Spring issue of Portfolio from the student lounge.

Five years ago, Kiel Anderson was part of the first class of culinary students to graduate from The Art Institute of California – Orange County. After graduation, Kiel landed his first job with Opah, a restaurant located in the Irvine Market Place.

“I started working in the pantry station at Opah and after two weeks I started training on all the stations,” Kiel said. “I worked the line for five months before being promoted to Sous Chef and have now worked at all three Opah locations as a Sous Chef.”

After three years of working at all the restaurants, Kiel was promoted to Executive Sous Chef and given the opportunity to be in charge of his own restaurant. With the new job title there were new responsibilities, and Kiel was ready for the challenge.

“I am responsible for the whole kitchen which includes placing all the orders, making the schedules and managing the employees,” Kiel said. “I am also responsible for coming up with daily specials, running the line every night and taking inventory.”

He worked his way up through the ranks and continued to prove himself time and time again. His continuous hard work, and responsible nature did not go unnoticed. The head chef and owner of Opah, as well as several other restaurants, was in the process of starting a new restaurant and decided to promote Kiel to head chef of this new restaurant.

“Watermarc Grille is scheduled to open in Laguna Beach in mid-April and I will be the Chef de Cuisine,” Kiel said. “I have been working with the Executive Chef/Owner Marc Cohen on developing the menu and the concept as a whole.”

At only 24 years old, Kiel is doing exactly what he loves to do and has a very successful career ahead of him. With a new restaurant on the horizon, Kiel is more than ready to make his mark in the culinary world.

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