TSTC Culinary Arts bakes up success for alum

Israel Mendez

Texas State Technical College alumnus Israel Mendez De La Rosa graduated in December with a certificate in Culinary Arts and said it was his grandmother and mother who inspired his career.

“They both inspired my cooking at a young age,” said the 21-year-old. “By the time I was a teenager, I knew that this would be my career path.”

Even before graduating, the Santa Rosa native received a job offer from Classic’s Bar & Grill in Harlingen, where he works today as a line cook.

How did TSTC prepare you for your career?

TSTC and my Culinary Arts instructors prepared me and my classmates by training us in how to properly run a kitchen, the importance of cleanliness and organization, and time management, all of which are very important when you enter the field.

Who at TSTC had the most influence on your success?

The two Culinary Arts instructors that had the most influence on my success were Omar Duran and Ayla Cabarubio. They were always there to lend a helping hand and motivate us to keep going.

Duran showed me that my possibility for success is limitless and helped my confidence in myself and skills grow. Cabarubio was my baking instructor, and she helped me get an in-depth look into my passion.

What are your future goals?

I have a passion and love for baked goods that has grown over the years, so my goal is to open a successful bakery.

What advice do you have for future TSTC students?

My advice is to stay on top of your work, follow your dreams, strive to go above and beyond, and stand out from the crowd.