Kiara, Class 53
Kiara grew up with seven siblings. Everyone pitched in at home, including Kiara, who loved to cook. She skipped the college route, looking to jump right into a professional kitchen – to get her hands dirty with practical experience. Kiara’s grandma read about CCSC in the newspaper and suggested that Kiara enroll at the School.
As of now, the U.S Department of Labor says there are 78.2% Men in the Chef and head cook profession and 21.4% Women in the Chef and head cook profession. Kiara wanted to conquer those odds, entering the culinary industry with a strong will and determination, to become a female chef.
During enrollment at CCSC, Kiara’s instructors made an impression on her, sharing their knowledge on how to make cooking into a career. “The School and instructors taught me a lot of things: how to keep it business in the kitchen, handle the stress, and stay tough.”
Upon gaining her ServSafe Certification and graduating from CCSC, Kiara looked for other ways to make her resume stand out. She enrolled in Job Corps and earned her CPR Certification and Food Safety Certification. After five months of Job Corps training, Kiara had the opportunity to work at Cowfish, a Sushi Burger Bar in South Park. She stayed at Cowfish for a year, learning more about their unique restaurant concept.
She wanted to master more skills and decided to apply at Maggiano’s. Now, Kiara is a line cook at the Pantry Station, one out of the six stations in Maggiano’s kitchen. She helps prepare the solids, desserts, and pizza dishes. She also helps with prep work for all of the stations. Kiara says “Maggiano’s has pushed me to a new skill level.”
Kiara needed rides from family and friends to get to work. Now, she has saved up for the one thing she truly needs – a car!
Each experience gave her tangible skills in different realms of the culinary industry. Kiara prides herself on being versatile and easily adaptable to any position or encounter that arises. The biggest advice Kiara gives to young cooks is to “take chances, get the job done, and do not let your gender define you in the kitchen.” CCSC is proud of Kiara’s diligence and determination, and we wish her continued success!