Alumni Stories

Brian Hughes

Brian Hughes

My education prepared me for my career path by helping me to develop a solid foundation of classical skills and kitchen techniques. Brian Hughes , Line Cook, Auberge du Soleil Associate of Science in Culinary Arts, 2016 , The Art Institute of California—Sacramento, a campus of Argosy University

Preps Food at High-Volume Fine Dining Kitchen

Brian Hughes is a line cook at Auberge du Soleil, responsible for setting up and stocking stations with necessary supplies, prepping food for service, and cooking menu items alongside the rest of the kitchen staff. “I ensure that food comes out simultaneously, in high quality, and in a timely fashion,” he says. He also maintains a positive and professional approach with coworkers and customers.

Brian served in the United States Army as an infantryman for over nine years, obtaining the position of sergeant. He mentions that his biggest career challenge has been his age. Brian changed careers in his early 30s and says that he’s pushed hard to prove his skills. “I never stop cooking, I am always studying, developing my own recipes, and learning new techniques.” Brian’s hard work has paid off. He’s moved up the chain of line cooks and was promoted to his third station.

He advises current students to remember that there are many people competing for culinary jobs. “If you want to be the best, you have to push harder than others are willing to push. Remember why you started on this career path and take responsibility for your education.”

Brian is fully committed to the long hours and physical demands of the job. He believes that his determination is what led him to be hired by a Michelin-rated restaurant. “We change our menu seasonally. I regularly watch the executive chef and the sous chef collaborate on new, innovative dishes. They test different flavors and presentation ideas. I like that I get to see what goes into creating a unique culinary experience.”

He adds that being challenged in the culinary industry is a daily occurrence. “During dinner service, we get 150 reservations a night. The quality of food and the presentation gets pushed to the limits. I have to know when the food is done, what to plate, and what other dishes are going out with mine. Being in a kitchen like Auberge shows me the challenges of being a line cook in a high-volume, fine dining kitchen.”

Brian, who in 2016 earned an Associate of Science in Culinary Arts from The Art Institute of California—Sacramento, says that his education provided a solid foundation of classical skills and kitchen techniques. “It showed me that my passion for food and cooking are not simply just mine, but that thousands of other chefs have the same passion. The school also connected me with local chefs, faculty, and other students to create a strong network that I can rely on when questions come up.”

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