TSTC Culinary Arts: One student’s recipe for success

By Amanda Sotelo, TSTC Staff

Jose Rodriguez, 22, graduated in December 2019 with a certificate in Culinary Arts from Texas State Technical College and a job offer as a line cook from Station 1 Bar & Grill, where he is employed while pursuing his associate degree at TSTC.

Expecting to graduate this semester, the Lasara native said his interest in Culinary Arts stems from being able to use his creativity in the kitchen and creating his own unique style as a chef.

How did TSTC prepare you for your career?

TSTC prepared me by teaching me a new sense of urgency and passion when it comes to being in the kitchen. It also taught me that there is so much more to just cooking when it comes to a career in culinary. I also learned how to be a better communicator and a more social person.  

Who at TSTC had the most influence on your success?

My TSTC Culinary Arts instructor, Emma Creps, had the most influence on my success. She helped me develop a strength that is vital in any kitchen operation. She was also patient with all of my questions and always answered them the best way she could so I could understand. And, most importantly, there was never any lack of respect.

What are your future goals?

My goal is to gain as much experience as I can and become an executive chef so that I can operate and run a kitchen alongside a hand-picked team of well-qualified chefs. And if all goes as planned, I hope to eventually become a restaurant owner and chef at my own establishment.

What advice do you have for other TSTC students?

Listen to your instructors; they are there to help you. And don’t be afraid to ask questions. There is no greater comfort than having the answer to a question that has been on your mind. And lastly, be persistent. College can be rough at first. But before you know it, time will fly, and you’ll be walking across a stage as a college graduate.