Alumni Stories

Genia Williams

Culinary Arts

Cook, Morrisons at WellStar Hospital Eastpoint
The Art Institute of Atlanta

Genia Williams

Cooking has always been a part of my life. Being able to learn more about my craft in school pushed me to be confident and bold. Genia Williams , Cook, Morrisons at WellStar Hospital Eastpoint Bachelor of Science in Culinary Arts Management, 2014 , The Art Institute of Atlanta

Hospital Cook, Culinary Consultant, Coach and Mentor for Culinary Arts Competition Team

Genia Williams is a cook for Morrisons at WellStar Hospital Eastpoint, responsible for baking and cold prep including desserts and on-the-go-parfaits. She also holds a position at Fulton County Schools as a culinary consultant for the culinary arts program. “I am the mentor/coach for the FCCLA (Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America) culinary arts competition team,” she said. Additionally, she serves as a mentor and culinary instructor for the nonprofit teen mothers’ support program, F.M.O. (For Moms Only). “We work with young mothers to define their goals and provide menus and recipes for the women and their children.”

Given her busy schedule, it’s no surprise that her day starts early—at 5 am. She bakes breakfast pasties and breads for patients, then moves on to create hot desserts for the retail side of the hospital cafeteria. In the early afternoon, she heads to her school position, working with students in labs and in the classroom.

Genia says that her education provided a strong foundation for her career.  “Cooking has always been a part of my life. Being able to learn more about my craft in school pushed me to be confident and bold. I knew this was what I wanted to do. I am a chef and The Art Institute of Atlanta helped me see that it’s what I was meant to be.”

Coaching a culinary arts team is one of her most challenging jobs—she began coaching just one year ago.  “I was working with three kids who never cooked in a competition before and they hadn't practiced, either. But their confidence in winning and excitement made me so excited that I just dove right in. After two weeks of training, they earned second place in the state.”

She adds that she’d never believed she could lead the students to a successful placement in an FCCLA culinary competition—but was thrilled when it happened. “if you don’t trust that you can do anything, how can you teach others to do what they love?” Genia found success by taking the students out of their comfort zones and challenging them to try new things.

Genia, who in 2014 earned an Associate of Arts in Culinary Arts from The Art Institute of Atlanta, says that it’s important to cultivate creativity and compassion “I get on my students’ level and let them know that they can come to me at any time about anything. We respect each other. I like to inspire and encourage people to do anything that they put their minds to.”