Meet Shaun, Allie’s Place Culinary Graduate Turned Culinary Assistant

Shaun entered Allie’s Place looking for “a new outlook on the culinary experience” as well as improvement in his culinary skills. During his time in the program, Shaun learned the ins and outs of proper food preparation and safety—both valuable skills when seeking a job in the food industry.

Through much dedication, Shaun excelled in Culinary Essentials 1 and the Continuing Education Courses which led the culinary team to hire him as a Culinary Assistant. Diving into baking and International Cuisines, he explained, prepared him to be more determined and focused in his new role.

“Right now, I’m a Culinary Assistant. I got hired after being a student because I kept coming and showing my determination,” he said. “Being here helped me build better communication skills because we all have to work together.”

In terms of future employment, Shaun’s education in areas from barista training to knife skills leave him well-prepared for opportunities in the food industry.

“I’ve learned knife skills, how to prepare food properly, and barista skills. I’ve enjoyed the hands-on experience, the cooking, preparing food, and getting all the ingredients in order. They’ve helped me a lot across different fields. It’s an awesome program. You learn a lot. You wouldn’t want to miss out on it,” Shaun said.

Assistant Chef Instructor Jayda Gabriel, who oversees Shaun’s work, said she admires his drive and self-sufficiency in the kitchen.

“Shaun is a great help. He’s great at multitasking,” she explained. “I can trust I can give him a large recipe, and I can trust that each product will be accurate. He’s just great.”

Lead Culinary Instructor Evan Dobie agreed.

“He was always the first person to get something done and always the last person to leave class, always a leader, and just really hard working,” Evan said. “He intervenes with students in the best way when he sees they’re struggling and helps them out.”

Marcella Rodriguez, Director of Culinary Education, also noted Shaun’s growth since first starting his training at Allie’s Place.

“He’s grown considerably, and his knowledge of culinary is expanding dramatically. He started to show leadership qualities as well by just stepping up and doing things without being asked,” she said. “I think he’s grown quite a bit, which is why I decided to hire him.”

To register for classes at Allie’s Place Center for Culinary Education & Employment, visit

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