What did your time at Nicholls State University mean to you?
“My time at Nicholls means everything to me, and I miss it every day!”
What is your favorite memory from Nicholls?
“I have so many amazing memories, but my favorite memory was during my service night at Bistro; I was in charge of Russian Bistro. During family dinner, when each of the students, Chefs, and Teacher Assistants come together at the end of the night to have dinner together and give feedback on the day, everyone spoke highly of both the dinner and the service. It was refreshing to be acknowledged and appreciated for the hard work during the service!”
What made you choose Nicholls?
“I went to Nicholls because it was far enough from my hometown of Baton Rouge, but it wasn’t too far away, so I was still able to see my family every now and then. I also was interested in Nicholls because it made more financial sense than a private university or to just get my associate degree. Originally, I didn’t plan to go to a four-year university, but when I met Chef Randy at orientation he made me feel as though I was already a part of Nicholls and the Chef John Folse Culinary Institute family! All in all, I chose Nicholls because of funding, location, and Chef Randy’s personality.”
What do you do now and how did Nicholls help you?
“I am a Private Chef for Kappa Delta Sorority at Texas A & M University, and I own and operate my own food company called “Tina D’s” which is named after my sister who died of breast cancer while I was in college. She was a big inspiration to me and gave me the motivation to further my culinary journey. I now run catering events, do menu prep, and run a kid’s chef camp, private dinners, and cooking classes. Nicholls instilled confidence in me daily, and continues to do so to this day! Anytime I need advice or have a question, the Chefs at Nicholls are just a text or phone call away!”
What would be your advice to current students of Nicholls?
“My advice to the current students of Nicholls would be to pay attention to the classes you do not cook in. While being a chef, it is important to know how to cook, but I wouldn’t have gotten hired if I didn’t know how to utilize cost control, how to plan menus, how to work with people, or how to be given food and make a dish from what I was given.
Nicholls offers true gems to come to the university to learn from. For example, Chef Brigsten from Brigsten’s Restaurant in New Orleans came and taught a few classes at Nicholls. Take advantage of these opportunities as they are coming from real-world professionals who are giving you real-life examples!
Lastly, volunteer in order to gain as much experience as you can! All volunteer opportunities have been free knowledge, to better my future; take advantage of all that is presented to you!”
What does it mean to be the Head Chef for Kappa Delta Sorority at Texas A & M University?
“If you told me a few years ago I would be where I am today and doing this, I wouldn’t have believed you! I am so blessed to wake up every day and do what I love; I never take it for granted! The clients I work for makes the not-so-good days easier because of their constant appreciation and recognition.
Also, with working for a university, I get breaks and summers off to spend with family and friends which is a plus because in the culinary world the idea of being off work on a holiday doesn’t exist since everyone still has to eat!
Thank you Nicholls CJFCI for making me work for every grade, it has shaped me into the person I am today! Everything in life requires hard work and dedication; wearing that white coat is not an easy task, but I do it proudly!”