Cerritos College
Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

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Culinary Arts second annual extravaganza brings job opportunities

Culinary Staffing Recruiter Chef Bill Yee with Culinary arts major Erick Londono at the Culinary Arts Extravaganza and Job expo on Oct. 21 Yee’s Culinary Staffing service was the only employer at the event that hired on the spot, Londono was one of the hires of the day. Photo credit: Briana Velarde

The annual Cerritos College Culinary Arts Extravaganza and Job Expo stirred many opportunities.

Students, faculty, and employers filled up the Student Center on Friday, Oct 21 for the special event.

Michele Peters, Goodwill workforce career coach, helped put the event together along with Chef Micheal Pierini for the third year.

She has an office located on campus at the Career Center.

Peters is partnered with the head of the Culinary Arts department and instructors to prepare students for working in the food-service industry.

“I wanted to engage students and help them learn about their craft and provide them with companies that have products and services that can help them grow with their craft,” she said.

Culinary students that were in attendance had opportunities to compete as if they were in the industry and network with companies who were ready to hire or provide internships.

One of the opportunities let the student cook to participate in a cooking contest.

The competition consisted of current students and alumni. Cirilo Rodriguez, alumni student and current executive Sous chef participated in the cooking contest.

“I graduated in 2004, Pierini and I kept in touch over the years. I competed last year but I didn’t do so good.”

Rodriguez prepared a dish called chorizo octopus. In the dish he was required to use Marukan vinegar. Marukan is the world’s finest rice vinegar.

“A certain item was the sweet vinegar, another was the ponzu with soy and one without soy. There were different layers of flavor throughout the whole dish,” Rodriguez said.

Local top chefs were judges for the cooking competition.

Retired Chef from Disney’s Grand California Hotel Bill Orton was there to judge and be a part of a panel. The panel aimed to answer any questions pertaining to the culinary industry.

“It is great to be a part of this, it’s fun to see people that are up and coming in the industry,” he said.

Aside from the cooking contest there was a job expo that took place. 18 employers were out seeking to interview for jobs and internships.

Culinary Staffing Service, L.A.s leading hospitality staffing agency was one of the employers.

Chef Bill Yee was recruiting staff and offering employment on the spot. His goal was to hire about 100 students.

Yee has worked over 1,000 job assignments with Culinary Staffing Service and also owns a catering company called L.A. Omelet Buns.

Applicants are hired as an on-call, event based, part-time employee.

“We send out emails to all the employees and they can choose when and where they want to work. It’s a first come, first serve basis,” Yee explained.

Applicants will be able to work events in the entertainment industry such as the Emmys, food and wine festivals, concerts and banquets.

Chef Yee shares that cooking is not his passion.

“Cooking is my profession and music is my passion. Often people mistake what they like to do with what they have to do,” he said.

Culinary Arts major, Erick Londono has been a part of the program for a year and a half. He is currently taking the cooking and baking classes.

He shared that the event opens a lot of room for more ideas and gives students more experience to see how it is to compete in the culinary industry.

Londono was one of the applicants for Chef Yee and got hired on the spot. He is excited to be a part of a job which allows you to work a variety of venues and not just one.

“It feels good because this is what I want to do. This is something I have been preparing myself for and I need to get my experience from somewhere so seeing this culinary staffing recruitment allows me to get my experience,” he said.

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About the Contributor
Briana Velarde, Online Editor
Just a journalist in the making. You can call me Bree.  This is my last semester on the newspaper but like everyone else I started as a staff writer. I have also been Social Media, Multimedia, and Arts & Entertainment editor. Currently pursuing a career in journalism. Music, entertainment, and visual stories are my passion. How much time do I spend in the newsroom? All day. Well maybe not all day because I work at a theater and sweep popcorn for a living, but hey these bills aren't going to pay themselves. My ultimate goal to become a digital content producer for a radio station. If all else fails catch me designing for a magazine like Complex or Fader. Since my life revolves online, therefore I am your current Online Editor. Excited to be able to share my content on the online and print version of Talon Marks, read all about it!
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Culinary Arts second annual extravaganza brings job opportunities