Claudia Sanchez

Culinary Arts

Line Cook for Compass Group at Halliburton headquarters
The Art Institute of Houston

Claudia Sanchez

The Art Institute of Houston prepared me by giving me the technical skills and actual practice I needed to obtain a better position in the kitchen. Claudia Sanchez , Line Cook for Compass Group at Halliburton headquarters
Diploma in Culinary Arts , 2014 , The Art Institute of Houston

Line Cook for Compass Group at Halliburton headquarters

Claudia Sanchez is a line cook for Compass Group at Halliburton headquarters in Houston, Texas. She’s responsible for the action line—a food preparation area where food is cooked in front of people. “I have to have all my ingredients prepped and ready to go for lunch time. Also, I have to serve clients whatever dishes they ask for at the moment, and everyone is different,” she says. Her typical workday starts at 6 am with prep work—everything must be done by 10 am. After a 30-minute break, she opens up her lunch station until 1:30 pm.

She says that every kitchen presents new challenges. “You will be faced with difficult personalities because [culinary artists] tend to be very passionate people. You have to remember to use your communication skills and work as a team to get the job done. Also make sure you have a support network to be able to vent on difficult days.” Another challenge is that people often call off of work, leaving the team short-staffed. Claudia’s ability to be a flexible team player has helped her to cover for up to four different sections—which she says is both a physical and a mental challenge.

Claudia describes herself as a perfectionist who must be sure that all work is up to her high standards. “I show up early every day, make sure all my responsibilities are covered, and do whatever it takes to ensure my food is perfect for my clients.” She also uses her culinary skills to embellish upon standard recipes. “My boss trusts me so I can modify every dish as I need. In time, he has come to appreciate me so much that there's even a dish that has my name, Claudia's cochinita pibil, which is a Mexican dish that I improved and elevated.”

Claudia, who in 2014 earned a Culinary Arts Diploma from The Art Institute of Houston, says that her education provided the technical skills and practice needed to transition into a culinary arts career. She says that while every new position is a challenge, new employees shouldn’t give up. “The more you are there, doing your best, the more you learn. You need to be patient because everything gets better in time.”

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