Gianina Gomez Fall 2018 Blog
What a wonderful (and rush) year!
by Gianina Gomez, December 11, 2018
When 2018 came, it took me unaware because I transferred from one college to another while my family and I were on Christmas vacation in Peru. On the day we returned to Chicago, later than expected (delayed flight), I rushed home to take a shower quickly before dashing off to my new school: Kendall College, School of Culinary Arts. It was the beginning of a rushed year. In just a few hours I picked up my uniform and tools, met my academic counselor to review my schedule, and met my International counselor to file some waivers and other paperwork. Then I went to the 7th floor to begin this new adventure in my life, a fulfilling and very challenging time filled with quizzes, tests, assignments, and so many new-learning experiences. Added to this academic challenge was my busy family life with my husband and my two children, precious ones that I could not disregard at any moment.
It’s been a while since my first day at Kendall, and in a blink of an eye, so many things have happened to me. I was honored by two amazing organizations who gave me not one but two scholarships: Kendall College Trust and Les Dames d’Escoffier. These scholarships gave me the opportunity to focus on my career and education instead of being concerned about economic issues especially with two beautiful children being raised in Chicago (What an expensive city!).
As a mature woman, I have no time to waste so, I enrolled as one of Kendall’s student worker where I had the chance to learn about the storeroom operation and to work in the events department where I keep learning every day about the importance of planning and being organized. I have also volunteered for every culinary event going on in Chicago. I went to the marvelous Annual Gala of James Beard Foundation, held in the Lyric Opera House of Chicago; being in that gourmet ambiance filled me with pride and motivated me, even more, to continue following my dream of becoming a Chef. I also volunteered for Chicago Gourmet, another fantastic experience where I had the privilege to work with a group of talented and brilliant Mexican chefs who taught me not only about cooking but about passion and perseverance. By the end of the year, I staged at The Peninsula Chicago Hotel where more than 800 hundred brunches were served on Thanksgiving Day. Through working this brunch, I once again not only learned about cooking techniques but also leadership skills and stress management as well. I can’t be anything than thankful for all these opportunities and life experiences that God has given to me.
At Kendall, I did okay, I survived! I survived to all my classes and Chef Instructors. And I survived classes that included Sauces, Soups, Banquets, Fine Dining, Meats, Garde Manger, Breakfast and Lunch where I had to cook in large quantities and sometimes the cooking tools were bigger than me. It took me a while to catch on to everything going on at Kendall. Even though I was living in Chicago for a while, my English was still so weak. I still was confusing words like scratch from scrap, I couldn’t distinguish the pronunciation between ship and sheep as well as sheet and sh.t! (I still take some air when I need a sheet pan!). My accent plus my unpronounceable name became my stamp. Depending on the class people and Chefs can call me G, GG, Yenny, Ginina, Gia, Giana or whatever. All these classes have shown me I can be as multifaceted as my multiple names. Learning the science behind the cooking is one of my major discoveries. Learning all the details and precision as well as managing time in a kitchen has been another of my most significant achievements.
I am also thankful for my present life, to my family: for my family, my husband’s and children’s love and patience, to Kendall’s wonderful Chefs. I can’t be more thankful for the young people I’ve met: my wonderful classmates full of love, energy, dreams, passion and talent. I am also so very thankful for Kendall College Trust and its board members for believing in me despite my age. In fact, I can’t be more grateful for all the people who have continued to support me all the time, not only in my scholarly life but in my personal life. As the African proverb says: “It takes a town to raise a child” and so it is.
I try to live out my advice to others to never stop dreaming. As I continue pursuing my education at Kendall College it is so clear to me that it really is never is too late to pursue one’s dreams and one should never stop believing in oneself. God is good, and life is terrific. In fact, life is a journey, but don’t forget to take notes! See you in 2019 for new adventures!