May 15, 2015

Boulder Pastry School Graduate Spotlight: Joseph Han

By: Ryan Hodros, Culinary Arts  and Pastry Arts Graduate

At Auguste Escoffier, it’s easy to focus most of your attention on the big personalities in the classroom.  You know what I mean, the boisterous students who would be at home working in front of a national audience as well as in a bakery or kitchen.  The divas who sing while they bake, do movie lines while they chop, and have no issue chatting with anyone in hearing distance.

What many don’t see are the quiet students–the ones who keep their heads down, soak in every lesson from the instructors like a knowledge sponge, and quietly work their butts off to be the best student they can be.

Today I’m highlighting a former fellow student who fits this description to the letter.  Our class was full of former singers, former dancers, and big-headed writers, so it was easy to pass over Joseph Han quietly doing his best to learn everything Auguste Escoffier had to teach.  I caught up with Joseph to see how far that work ethic has taken him in the past year, and what he has planned for the future.

jojo3

1. What have you been doing since you graduated Escoffier?

I worked at Goochie Cupcakes as their decorator. About a year after I started I needed jaw surgery and was let go. Now I am currently working in Cherry Creek Schools Food Service and I am training to become a kitchen manager! And soon I will have my own kitchen to cook for the kids.

2. What have those jobs been like?

Goochie Cupcakes was a wonderful job. I loved to decorate new cupcakes and most of all eat them. Cherry Creek Schools Food Service kind of reminds me of pastry school. It brings back memories of when my classmates and I cooked delicious things. Now this job is teaching me how to manage a kitchen and all the responsibilities for a manager.

3. How prepared do you think you were by your time at Escoffier?

Being at Escoffier taught me to be flexible and to keep pushing through even if everything is going down. And school also taught me how to become the leader and get each task done. The two inspiring and important things that will stick with me forever are quotes from Chef Suzanne – “Leave you ego and drama out the door!” and Chef Kelly – “You got this Jojo [thumbs up]!”

jojo14. Do you keep in contact with your classmates?

Of course!!! I will occasionally talk to my friends and ask for tips and recipes we did in class.

5. What advice do you have for Escoffier students about to go out into the workforce for the first time?

Even though it is scary at the beginning, don’t be afraid to go out and learn new things. You will learn good things you want to keep with you forever and trust me you can learn good things even from the bad. And one more thing have an open mind and think outside of the box.

6. How did you get involved with Escoffier in the first place?

It all started when I was finishing up high school. I thought to myself and wondered how culinary school would be. I started searching for a culinary school in Colorado so I didn’t have to leave the state. And the first thing that it searched was Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts. I registered that day and that’s when it all started.

7. Do you miss Pastry school?

YES!!! I miss my classmates and also my instructors! They all have inspired me to learn new things and keep going even though it is hard.