Culinary Student Josyl Radix’s Recipe for Success
Filed under: Culinary
September 22, 2015
“My advice to any student would be to never doubt yourself. Whatever you most fear that you are not capable of doing, you are capable of.”
-Josyl Radix, Associate of Science in Culinary Arts student, The Art Institute of Pittsburgh
At The Art Institute of Pittsburgh, every student in the Associate of Science in Culinary Arts program is expected to participate in a culinary challenge or competition before graduating. For Josyl Radix, time was almost up.
“I always sign up for the competitions, but then I get scared that I’m going to lose or I’m not going to be good enough. So, I just never did it. I put it off,” Josyl admits.
This time, however, it was Josyl’s final quarter and when she heard about the Farmer’s Market Dash, she signed up, knowing that procrastinating was no longer an option. For the competition, four students from The Art Institute of Pittsburgh were given tables at a farmer’s market upon which they would have 90 minutes to construct a meal using a provided protein from a nearby farm and any ingredients on sale from vendors at the market.
Despite her normal nerves, on the day of the competition, Josyl remained relaxed under pressure. “It is the weirdest thing,” she says, laughing. “I was not panicked the whole time. Usually I am a very anxious person, but this was just the calmest hour and a half.”
Upon learning they had to use ground beef, her first thought was meatballs—a thought she quickly pushed aside upon realizing there wasn’t enough time to make pasta. As she looked around, surveying the tables, she recalls her mind going a hundred miles a minute.
“The next thing that popped into my mind was a burger,” she says, recalling everything coming together as she saw first bread, then cheese, and then corn. Ultimately, she produced a meal that won her first place at the competition—a hamburger topped with cheese and roasted corn jalapeno salsa, served with a side of homemade potato chops.
As someone who grew up in a Caribbean American household, Josyl is naturally drawn to preparing food she describes as “contemporary Caribbean with American influence.”
Now, with her final quarter wrapping up and a fresh boost of confidence from winning the Farmer’s Market Dash, Josyl is excited to soon return to her home state of New York and pursue a career as a catering chef. “I come from a very large family. We have a lot of parties, so I’m used to making food for a large number of people,” she explains. “There’s a lot of work that goes into making someone’s event amazing but that’s what I want to do.”
Looking back, outside of the Farmer’s Market Dash, Josyl’s favorite experience was volunteering at the 2015 James Beard Foundation event and fundraiser held at The Art Institute of Pittsburgh. “It was a great event with a lot of creative minds coming together. All of our professors are great chefs. Here, they got to do something outside the curriculum where you could see the years that they’ve spent in the industry just come to life.” For Josyl, those faculty members were invaluable to her education at The Art Institute of Pittsburgh.
“You can gain so much through the conversations you have with your teachers,” she says. “If at the end of a class or lab, you just leave and don’t ask any questions or try to learn anything new, your experience isn’t as rich. Most of our teachers have been in the industry for 25 plus years, so there’s so much that they know that you don’t know. There’s so much that they can teach you.”
*Faculty experience and credential may vary.
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