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How I Got Started: Cooking has always been a hobby of mine. When I was younger I would help my mom with dinner every night. She showed me how to prepare certain foods and which utensils to use. Now that I am older, I am able to cook for my friends. I enjoy planning a menu and gathering the ingredients to make a great meal. It is also fun to be creative in how you present your food. The most rewarding part of cooking is hearing all the great compliments from the people you serve.

What I Want to Study: Students in culinary arts programs study more than just how to cook. They take courses in nutrition, sanitation, and culinary history. Students also study the properties of different ingredients and learn how to plan a menu and create recipes based on both seasonal availability and a budget. Courses such as an introduction to baking and pastry, cost control and purchasing, and dining room operations interest me.

What I Can Do In the Future: After earning a bachelors degree in culinary arts, I can work as an entry-level chef at a restaurant. Chefs regulate cooking temperatures, measure and mix ingredients, and prepare serving plates. A short-term certificate in culinary arts would enable me to be a food preparation worker. They are responsible for assisting cooks by doing basic kitchen tasks. But, I really love baking. So I'm headed for a job in a restaurant making desserts and pastries.

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