Lead Lounge Line Cook, Toasted Barrel
The Art Institute of California—Inland Empire, a campus of Argosy University
[I enjoy] hearing people get excited about my food. It drives me to new levels. Elys Soto , Lead Lounge Line Cook, Toasted Barrel Associate of Science in Culinary Arts, 2016 , The Art Institute of California—Inland Empire, a campus of Argosy University
Elys Soto is the lead lounge line cook at Toasted Barrel in Corona, California. She is responsible for organizing service for the restaurant’s lounge and dinner guests. She also preps items for service and sets up the line. Elys says that her proudest accomplishment was cooking for President Obama during one of his 2016 visits to Los Angeles. She also worked for two months on the Vans Warped Tour musical festival and at the 2016 Coachella Festival.
She is inspired by the work of Dominique Crenn, a female chef who has earned the Michelin Star rating. Elys adds that the best part of her career is being able to put her creative side to work. “[I enjoy] hearing people get excited about my food. It drives me to new levels.”
She recommends that current students be “head-strong but not strong headed. Remember that there is always room for growth. Always keep an open mind, especially in this industry.” Elys knows that it’s important to learn from experienced professionals, and encourages students to remember that the culinary industry is a team environment.
Elys, who in 2016 earned an Associate of Science in Culinary Arts from The Art Institute of California—Inland Empire, says that her education provided the fundamentals in addition to hands-on training that prepared her for the real world. “I was able to work in teams and lead at times, which allowed me to lead [in the real world] when working events. I learned to utilize flavors and skills to accommodate unique palates and dietary restrictions. The plating classes helped to prepare me for fine dining and catering.”