Casey Pappa is a 2019 International Gold & Silver Plate Society stipend recipient. He attends the Culinary Institute of America and is majoring in Culinary Arts. Find out what he had to say when we asked him a few questions about his foodservice stipends and future career.
What is your major & what made you decide on it?
Culinary Arts Associate’s (AOS) program with a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) in Food Business Management with a concentration in Intrapreneurship. I decided on this path because I believe these degrees are best suited for making change in the industry. I believe the working knowledge of this industry will help me better approach challenges and help me to effect change.
How has your scholarship enabled you to pursue a career in foodservice?
This scholarship allows me to worry about income a lot less. I will have more time to devote to my studies and more focus thanks to the financial relief. While moving from Utah to attend school here in New York I was involved in a motor vehicle accident. I lost control of my vehicle in a snow storm in Wyoming and totaled the vehicle along with a rented trailer towing all of my belongings. All the savings my husband and I had worked to accumulate was lost in that moment. We arrived in New York with far less money and financial stability than we had prepared for. This scholarship is truly making a difference. I am so appreciative to have received this award.
What was your first job in foodservice?
My first job in the food service industry was cooking for a high volume catering company. I learned a lot about time management. That job is where I began to develop my knife skills. I began to understand inventory control and food costing. The job really opened my eyes as to how extensive this industry can be. While it wasn't the quality of food I really wanted to be producing, it was a truly valuable time in my work history. I left that position to move on to manage the kitchen of a small local bakery in Salt Lake City, Utah. I applied the skills and lessons learned from my first job to the bakery and was very successful. Managing the kitchen grew into becoming the head baker, then head chef. When the company expanded into a second location I was asked to lead both teams as the corporate chef. I am constantly seeking growth in each of my experiences and pushing myself as hard as possible to succeed.
What would you say is your "dream job" after you graduate?
I would say my dream job consists of a position that approaches the industry from a place of education and forming relationships with other professionals who approach the business from different angles. I would love the opportunity to travel and experience new foods and cultures.
What have you learned that you will apply to a career in foodservice?
Patience and attention to detail. Patience in the kitchen with both the food and your peers can make all the difference. The small details complete a dish and an experience. If these lessons are not applied to each dish it will be expressed through the food.
What are some of the challenges students like you face in today's world of foodservice?
I think the greatest challenge for a student in any field is finance. The course material is always manageable. The understanding is there if you are given the time and the right state of mind to learn the information. Financing can get in the way of both available time and financial security. Scholarships like the one IFMA has provided for me can really make all the difference.
Do you have a mentor? How have they helped you?
I have had many mentors in my life. I think without naming each of them I can sum up their effect of me through some common characteristics. Mentors for me have been truthful and critical of my performance and comprehension of subjects. They have tapped into my potential and driven me to push to a level beyond what I believe I would have done without them. My mentors have shared with me experiences that have molded the people that they are, either to guide me through a challenge or to help me avoid a bad situation all together. My mentors have had a genuine interest in my advancement and a dedication to my development.
What is your favorite meal?
My favorite meal doesn't have a name or an ingredient list. The best meals always consist of good company, quality ingredients, mindful preparation, and great drinks. If all these things are present, that is my favorite meal.
About The IFMA Education Foundation
The IFMA Education Foundation promotes the next generation of foodservice leaders. The Foundation is committed to giving qualified culinary, marketing or food science students support toward completion of education requirements. Over the years, we've accomplished our goal by providing scholarships, publications, educational programs, internships and stipends to accredited institutions and individuals enrolled in accredited institutions.
How to help the next generation of foodservice!
- Support the IFMA Education Foundation by making a donation
- Get involved in the People Future 2025 initiative
Contact us at IFMA@IFMAworld.com.