Lorain County chefs

A kitchen is not a locker room, but you could almost mistake it for one as the five student chefs in the Lorain County Community College Culinary Arts program put together the dishes for 2023 Our Ohio magazine in early December.

Throughout the morning, second-year student chefs Chris Dellisanti, Santana Sanchez, Andre Mooney, Zach Thomas and Hannah Prahst praised one-another’s creations and pumped each other up with confidence as they made the Ohio Farm Bureau recipes.

As has been the case since 2019, the student chefs were chosen by Chef Adam Schmith, program director, and Chef Bradley Ball, lead instructor, to take on the magazine’s recipe creation as a project in the fall semester, and they are eager to embark on their culinary careers.

“The only thing I could remember from a young age was being in the kitchen with my mom making dinner,” Dellisanti said. “Ever since high school it has been my goal to make it into culinary and LCCC gave avenues and opportunities which I’m more than grateful for.”
Sanchez also recalls making memories in the kitchen.

“Growing up, I always noticed that whenever my family and friends would get together and have a good time, there would always be a lot of effort put towards making good food,” he said. “Seeing the joy and the way everyone welcomed one another when seated around a good, home-cooked meal really gave me a feeling like no other.”

The hands-on nature of the craft is what attracted Mooney to culinary arts.

“Activities like these have always been a deep interest of mine and culinary arts is where I’m able to truly represent that,” he said. “(The program has) helped me develop a level of confidence I’ve never experienced before.”

An eye toward the future is one of the motivating factors for Thomas.

“I currently work at Sibling Revelry Brewing, in Westlake Ohio,” Thomas said. “After I graduate, I plan to work my way to a chef’s position and create a brand for myself. In the future I would like to open my own catering business or food truck.”

Prahst didn’t even like cooking for a long time, but has changed her perspective over the years.

“For me, cooking and baking is the way I express my love and care for others,” she said. “I chose culinary arts as my career because I saw how food and meals bring people together, help them bond, and strengthen their relationships.”

Online extra

See the students creations inside Our Ohio magazine, or online.

Labor has always been an issue, mainly because we are a seasonal operation. So that's a challenge finding somebody who only wants to work three months out of a year, sometimes up to six months.
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