How did you become interested in food?
I join many chefs in owning the phrase “cooking saved my life.” My
mother raised both my sister and myself by herself and catered events
all around New York in order to provide for us. This gave me a sense of
entrepreneurialism and a passion for cooking at a young age.
Who most influenced you?
My mother definitely influenced me to pursue a culinary career. I also
credit Marcus Samuelsson, an Ethiopian-born, Swedish-raised chef and
owner of Red Rooster Harlem, NY and three other restaurants. His
inspirational story motivated me to take my career to the next level.
Did you have to overcome any obstacles or challenges to come to the CIA?
One of the challenges I had to face was taking a step back. By this I
mean, I owned my own catering business and was already knee deep in the
culinary field but I needed the formal training in order to create a
greater foundation, which going to the Culinary Institute would provide.
Do you have a previous degree/career?
Yes, before the CIA I went to school to study business administration.
Why did you choose the CIA?
I chose the CIA because of its reputation and culinary program and the
curriculum is incomparable to other culinary schools. Plus, most of the
successful chefs in the industry have trained at this school.
What do you like best about CIA?
I love that the CIA opens so many doors for you in the industry and with
a degree from this school, I know my possibilities are endless.
What are your career goals/plans?
After graduation I plan on working in either Europe or Japan for a
couple of years. After that, my plan is to run a fine dining restaurant
in New York City.
Any advice for prospective students?
I would seriously encourage someone to attend the CIA. This is such a competitive industry and a degree from the CIA will ensure your future success!
Read more about Kwame
how living in Nigeria during his early teenage years helped him
appreciate food, life, and the opportunities available to him.