We caught up with ChefUniforms.com Contest winner, Jessica Cheek for a quick interview before she heads off to the 2012 NRA Show next weekend! Check out what she had to say about winning the contest:
1. How does it feel to win an all-expense paid trip to the 2012 NRA Show?
It is honestly a complete honor to have won an all-expense paid trip to the 2012 NRA Show. Not only have I wanted to go to this show, I get to go for free and visit one amazing city.
2. What do you plan on getting out of your trip to the NRA?
I will benefit so much from my trip to the NRA in so many ways. I hope to learn many things that will help me be successful when starting up a bakery for myself, which has always been a dream of mine. It will also be super great to see all the top chefs that will be attending the show.
3. How did you go about getting all of those votes? What did you do that helped the most (Facebook, Emails, etc)?
Many of my good friends and I teamed up to spread the word. We made flyers to put up around town and in busy restaurants that we attended often. I also created an event on Facebook telling everyone to go vote and tell everyone they know. The site to go vote for me went all across the world. I also sent out the site to all of the contacts in my phone. Overall, I think that Facebook was the most successful of all because so many people are on Facebook and it was very easy to spread the word around.
4. Why did you want to become a chef?
Cooking is just something I absolutely love to do, and I have always been pretty good at. Cooking pairs with creativity in many ways and I have a lot of talent when it comes to creativity. You can express yourself so much in the foods you cook and people look to chefs every day for food, because it is essential to life.
5. What fabric and style of uniform do you enjoy wearing most?
In the kitchen, I like to wear a white basic women’s chef coat with thin material so I can stay cool while cooking and the way the women’s fit are just very comfortable and are not baggy so they don’t get in the way. Also, it’s a must to have a pocket on the side for my thermometer and sharpie, since I always need those. With pants, I like to wear black women’s fit chef bands with an elastic band so I can make adjustments when needed.
6. Do you enjoy dining out in your free time?
I love dining out in my free time. It is always great to go out and try new things, also new atmospheres. There is nothing like going out and getting a good meal with good friends.
7. Do you ever get menu ideas from your competitors?
You can really learn a lot from other people’s menus. I wouldn’t ever take any of their recipes to use, but getting ideas from them is no problem. You can change an idea and make it into something completely better or totally different from what it was when it was started.
8. Do you see any changes in food trends?
I actually see a lot of changes in food trends more and more every day. People are trying many new ideas that may have never been seen before. A lot of new ingredients are being used in preparing different foods, also in presenting them.
9. Is there any one thing you would have done differently in starting your culinary career?
I would not change a thing about how I started my culinary career. I am happy with the way it started and it has been very successful for me. I can only hope that it keeps being this good to me.
10. What advice would you give to someone who wants to go into the culinary field?
The best advice I can give, and the best advice I have ever heard is to follow your dreams! The first day of culinary school, I was told a quote, and it is a quote I am yet to forget and is very dear to my heart. “Don’t let the fear of failure overcome the joy of success”. If you keep this mind set, you will always be successful in everything that you do. Being in the culinary field is amazing and I wouldn’t change it for the world.
Have a great time at the show, Jessica, we look forward to hearing how it was!