It was 2008, my first summer living in the United States. I turned on the television, and while flipping through the channels, I came across the delicious sight of pizza. The flaming red sauce, the stringy cheese and the crispy crust was all it took to invite me into the world of culinary arts. I was hooked. My fate was sealed. Having been born and raised in India, I was initially introduced to a culture where academics took precedence. This hindered me at first, from discovering my love and passion for food. It was not until I moved to the United States that I was able to discover and feed my passion. This inspired me to enter the culinary world and ultimately become a chef. As an immigrant and tween, TV was my first friend. Early on, I discovered Food Network, and soon became influenced by the well-known faces of the culinary world, like Rachel Ray and Guy Fieri.
Rachael Ray and Guy Fieri are two well-known celebrity chefs who inspired me to enter the world of culinary arts. Both Ms. Ray and Mr. Fieri have bold personalities, come from humble backgrounds and middle class families. I believe their recognition was hard earned. I identified with them early on and learned from their styles.
As a young child, I tried to mimic the food they made. I related to food and whipped up similar recipes by enhancing them with the cultural flare and flavors to which I can culturally relate to. Today, it has become a fun challenge to cook food given my religious and dietary restrictions as a result of being of Indian decent. I've been inspired to take risks in the kitchen and try new recipes. I practice everything from chopping to speaking directly to the camera and make the world seem like an intimate kitchen with me as their only audience member. This might be only the beginning, and a child's dream of being on TV, but The Culinary Institute of America is definitely a place where I can hone my skills and learn the true art of food and presentation.
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