Inland Empire Culinary Student Gregory Rodriguez Chronicles Experience at All Star Chef Classic
Gregory Rodriguez, who is working toward an Associate of Science in Culinary Arts at The Art Institute of California—Inland Empire, a campus of Argosy University, recently attended the All Star Chef Classic at LA Live. He chronicled his experiences at the event to share with readers of the Ai Blog.
“[The All Star Chef Classic] was my first ever event that put me out of my comfort zone, meeting top chefs from around the world—France, Italy, and the United States. Stepping into the stadium, I was nervous not knowing what was to come from the students, chefs in the industry, and the people. It was the first night’s Master’s Dinner, a five course meal. The first course is an appetizer and the fifth is dessert.
All I saw and remember was 220 plates on each side of the stadium and two teams having to break off into ten people on each side. Once the guests were taking their seats, the first course started. Within 15 minutes, we had to set all four appetizers onto one plate. Course after course, every plate was being executed and sent off to the guests around the stadium. Everyone’s facial expressions lit up the room.
Before I left to attend this event, my instructors advised me to “take what you can grasp, get contact information, and learn what you can.” That evening, one chef came to me and said, “you are a very nice chef, very sweet.”
The second day was the Italian Master’s Dinner. I got to meet Chef Antonia Lofaso. The reason that I wanted to get to know her work was because she was one of the winners of Top Chef: All Stars.
The third day, I talked to many Chefs who thanked me for my hard work and dedication to my craft. I had a positive attitude through the negative times and the times of pressure—and I was able to handle things and keep going.
The reason that I chose to go to this huge event was to be inspired and to inspire others about why we are here—and why we do what we love to do. I enjoy showcasing that through my art form. I was really grateful for and humbled by this experience.
I can offer these words of wisdom to other culinary students—take this experience and grow. The more you know, the greater you’ll become.”
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