Thursday, July 30, 2009

Alumni Success Story: Gerardo Granados



Bachelor of Science – Culinary Management, Summer 2008
Lead Cook - Casa De Las Campanas

Catering for high profile events like the Grammy’s, Emmy’s and Oscar’s is a dream job for any aspiring chef and Gerardo Granados was lucky enough to have the opportunity to do so a year before he graduated from The Art Institute of California – Orange County.

Before working star-studded events at Wolfgang Puck Catering, Gerardo began his culinary education at a community college but wasn’t sure it was the right career for him until one of his instructors inspired him to further his education.

“At The Art Institute of California – Orange County, I learned that food can be turned into a masterpiece,” Gerardo said. “The Culinary Management program taught me the fundamentals of cooking, how to multitask and how to work with others.”

To put his culinary skills to the test, Gerardo took jobs that would reinforce the techniques he was learning in class. During his first year of school, he worked in a Dana Point retirement home that provided its residents fine dining. Gerardo worked his way up from bus boy to lead cook in a year and a half.

“During my second year of school, I wanted to test my cooking skills so I headed to Hollywood and worked with Wolfgang Puck Catering,” Gerardo said. “Cooking for celebrities was a great experience but I still wanted to push myself more.”

His next challenge took him to a retirement home in San Diego where Gerardo’s goal was to turn around their kitchen. He is currently working with the cooks to teach them unfamiliar techniques and how to combine flavors and put “more love” into what they do.

“This is not my final destination in my career but just one of my culinary cooking stops,” Gerardo said.

A typical day for Gerardo includes checking in with the sous chef to confirm the menu and preparing both kitchens with all necessary ingredients. Before dinner is served, he explains the entrée’s ingredients to the wait staff. The shift ends when the kitchen is as clean as it was before dinner service.

“I don’t consider cooking a job because it is something I love to do,” Gerardo said, “but I always keep my eyes open and try to learn from others.”

Keep an eye out for regular updates on the success of our graduates. If you'd like to be featured on the blog or school Web site, contact Career Services.

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