Troy Lopez graduated from The Culinary School in June 2013. Despite graduating more than three years ago, he continues to play a role in developing current students. Troy visits classes on a frequent basis serving as an alumni guest speaker and mentor, inspiring students to keep moving forward towards success.
Troy tells potential students, “Don’t be on the fence. Everyone here is like family. It’s well organized and you get a lot of information.”
For the past three years, Troy has been working as a line cook at Schaefer’s Canal House in Chesapeake City, MD. In the past, Troy’s employment was seasonal, but fortunately, a mild winter and a busy banquet hall kept the restaurant busy and Troy employed.
As a line cook, Troy is familiar with many aspects of the kitchen. On any given shift, he works the oven, saute, grill, flattop or fryer. He does it all.
His favorite menu item to prepare – seared scallops with risotto.
Thanks to the training received at The Culinary School, Troy was prepared for employment at this high-end, canal-front restaurant.
“The training was on point. I knew the terminology, and ServSafe certification was helpful in getting the job. It also helps with your pay a little bit,” he explained. “Knowing food safety is important.”
Troy is thankful for the available opportunities since graduating from The Culinary School.
“If I hadn’t come here, I’d still be working in warehousing – not saying it’s a bad job, but I never thought of cooking as a career. It was a big eye opener,” he said.
When he’s not working, Troy is experimenting with new dishes in his home kitchen. He says he enjoys cooking Spanish food, especially anything with chorizo.
“I like exploring all different dishes, especially things that don’t seem to go together, but somehow work,” he explained.
Looking head, Troy hopes to own his own food truck within the next two years.
In the meantime, he continues to learn at Schaefer’s Canal House and is thankful to The Culinary School for helping to improve his life.
“[Graduates] wind up somewhere in a good job that helps benefit their families and themselves as it did me,” he said. “I keep telling people; everyone doesn’t have a perfect life, but somewhere down the line they come here and it gets them half way to be a better person. It’s a big plus and a benefit to everyone and anyone.”
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