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Jessica VanRoo

Jessica VanRoo

University of California, Irvine

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Jessica's work combines: Education, Food, and Working with Others

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Day In The Life

Culinary coordinator

I teach and program cooking classes.

Skills & Education

Here's the path I took:

  • High School

  • Bachelor's Degree

    Restaurant, Culinary, and Catering Management/Manager

    The Art Institute of California-Orange County

Here's the path I recommend for someone who wants to be a Chefs and Head Cooks:

High School

Bachelor's Degree: Food Science

Learn more about different paths to this career

Life & Career Milestones

My path in life took a while to figure out

  • 1.

    I wanted to go into financial planning but my mom thought it would be too stressful.

  • 2.

    Then I decided I had a passion for food.

  • 3.

    I enrolled at the art institute and immediately decided I needed a job in the industry.

  • 4.

    I was offered a teaching position at Sur la Table, specifically kids because no one else could.

  • 5.

    Then I realized I loved sharing my cooking experience.

  • 6.

    I started finding clients on my own, creating five star restaurant experiences in their homes.

  • 7.

    A hedge fund firm then found me and I started cooking for 30 guys day to day.

  • 8.

    UCI then found me and offered me a position to permanently run their culinary program.

Defining Moments

How I responded to discouragement


    Messages from Society in general:

    You should never work for free.

  • How I responded:

    This is a hard one and it depends on the industry but in my industry it was the only way for people to see my skills, to do things for free or a minimal charge. Once I got my foot in the door, and people appreciated what I did, I was able to charge and make the money I deserved.