July 1, 2014

Culinary Arts Graduate Spotlight

This could be you!

Antoinette Williams Antoinette Williams’ journey to Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts started in Seattle, Washington where she was working in theater. She had always been a creative person interested in all different art forms, but theater just wasn’t fulfilling anymore.

Antoinette tells us about her decision to go to culinary school and how Escoffier has helped her realize her passion and prepared her professionally to work in the culinary field.

Deciding to attend Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts: When I made the decision to go to school I wanted to find a place that taught the kind of cooking that I wanted to do. I knew I wanted to make unique, but classic food. Knife skills and technique are of the utmost importance, but I was looking for something beyond that. Then I discovered Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts. It was as if I wrote down everything I wanted and the school magically appeared. They had the local and seasonal approach I was looking for with the added bonus of sustainable cooking and the Farm To Table® Experience.

I also didn’t want to go to a school where I would get lost in a class of 40 students. Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts was smaller, which meant more interaction with my Chef Instructor. Not only was the school perfect, but it was in a city I had always wanted to explore – Austin, Texas. At that point my decision was made. I was going to Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts and they would make me the chef I wanted to be.

Antoinette Williams 1How school prepared me: School really helped prepare me for the restaurant environment. I learned to work with all personalities in the kitchen. It wasn’t always easy to relinquish control of a dish and allow different people to be responsible for different aspects, but I learned that it isn’t about me controlling the food from start to finish, but about making a beautiful dish. Learning how to cook my food properly when there is a million different things going on around me took some getting used to, but I am so glad I learned how because I now work in a downtown restaurant where I have to do so on a daily basis.

I also had the benefit of learning from not only one, but multiple Chef Instructors. They were open to my ideas and were able to help me figure out why or why not to make certain choices when cooking. But the real wealth of knowledge was in the kitchen dynamic.

My favorite part of school: The Farm To Table® Experience was another surprise and by far my favorite part of school. We buy food, but rarely think about all the things that go into bringing that food to the grocery store. I had the amazing privilege of working on multiple organic farms. I got to feed chickens and collect eggs; plant and harvest produce and even cook things I just got from the farm. I have a newfound appreciation for the months of work that go into producing every element of a dish and that respect for food has undoubtedly made me a better chef.