Senior Aspires to Work in the Culinary Arts

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Senior Aspires to Work in the Culinary Arts

By Emma Sandrolini

Photo by: Chris Yip

Senior Oriana Anguiano is easily recognizable by her long, dark hair and unique style, which, according to Anguiano, is influenced by the music she listens to.

“I got into dressing differently one to two years ago when I got into music and different musicians,” she said.

“The music I listen to is pretty varied. I like everything from German industrial metal and post-punk/goth ‘80s bands to David Bowie and classical music,” she said. “I’m always taking recommendations from other people, so it’s easy to find a song for every mood.”

Wearing all black, long earrings, dark lipstick, and brunette hair that hits past her waist in a braid, Anguiano stands out from most people at Tam. According to Anguiano, she was really into Rapunzel when she was younger and “[hasn’t] felt like cutting it since.” Another different aspect of Anguiano is her aspirations for life after high school.

If accepted, Anguiano plans to attend the Culinary Institute of America, and hopes to have a job that “involves anything with food.” By her freshmen year, Anguiano knew that she wanted to work in the culinary world. After realizing she had this passion, she signed up for youth cooking classes in San Francisco, which turned her hobby into a potential career path.

“I became really interested and it was very inspirational,” she said. “My mentor, Caesare Assad [teacher at SF cooking class], was my main influence.”

“Seeing someone who was so successful, [a] chef for four different restaurants, I saw she was someone who had a goal and met it. She taught me to pursue my goal like she did,” Anguiano said.

Unfortunately, the cooking institute closed last year. “It’s sad to not see [Assad] anymore. But she gave me so much experience and enough to stand on my own,” she said.

According to Anguiano, baking is her primary interest, but she is open to any kitchen experience. “I go through phases – I’ll cook cakes, and then want to bake cookies. Bread is really great to make because you can keep track of how you make it,” she said. “I get frustrated when [recipes] don’t work out, but it just motivates me even more.”

Though Anguiano once considered the possibility of having her own restaurant, she has since changed her mind due to the startling statistics of restaurant success. “Seven out of eight fail. I’d love to be in contact with food, but not necessarily in the business,” she said.

This passion for the culinary arts appears unique to Anguiano, considering most seniors are stressing about their college applications.

“All my peers are doing the Common Application— I feel lost when my friends talk about how much they have to do. [Applying to a culinary institute] is really simple. I just have to fill out an application with background history with a letter about why I want to attend. You also have to have six months of job experience,” she said.

Though Anguiano is pursuing the culinary arts, she isn’t neglecting a liberal arts education. At her top choice of a culinary institute, she can also earn a bachelor’s degree. “[American Culinary Institute is] sort of like a culinary camp and the first two years really hone in your skills, and then you have one year of business and you earn a bachelor’s degree,” she said.

Anguiano is currently focusing on getting the most job experience as she can get.

“It helps living here because there are so many opportunities,” she said. “I got an internship through the school with Kitchen Culinary. I then met a chef, Dug Ang who opened a l

ot of opportunities for me. I worked as a caterer at Dragonfly Cakes in Sausalito.”

Anguiano currently works at Teacake Bakeshop in the Corte Madera mall. “The atmosphere is very happy and welcoming, as are my co-workers and boss. The hours are flexible and there are always cute kids coming in with their parents to buy cupcakes, so its hard not be in a good mood when I’m there,” she said.

Though her path differs from that of most students at Tam, it doesn’t get in the way of Anguino’s perseverance.

“My mom in particular has always had my back in every decision I’ve made. I think the fact that she believes in me so much makes it so much easier to pursue whatever I want to. I’m pursuing what I want, there really isn’t any other dream I would want to chase after.”