Alumni Spotlight: Allan Price
It was 2019 when West Texas native Allan Price packed his bags and moved six hours away to Fort Worth, leaving his small town behind in exchange for big city life and the start of a new endeavor – enrollment in the Culinary School of Fort Worth.
“The culinary school brought me here,” says Price, a 2020 graduate. “I went to one year of community college and realized it wasn’t for me. I was your average broke college student and living with my girlfriend at the time. We both didn’t have much money, but both needed to eat. I started learning how to cook and how do fun and creative things. I wanted to further my expertise.”
Price decided to call Fort Worth his permanent home and is now the executive chef of The Radler, a beer garden and restaurant on West Magnolia Ave. The eatery features an emphasis on German-style cuisine, and Price says the regional cooking component of the culinary school curriculum helps with his menu planning and recipe development.
“I’ve tried to add European and German flair to some of the newer menu items I’ve created,” he says.
Price grew up in the restaurant industry. His mother was a general manager of a restaurant his whole adolescence, he says, adding that he may one day explore the management side of the restaurant business with the hopes of one day potentially opening his own restaurant.
“But that is a long-off goal at this point,” Price says. “I want to get a couple years’ experience of how a kitchen works and how the front of the house works, that way I can do everything and understand everybody for when I eventually end up overseeing the whole place.”
Price says his culinary school tenure prepared him for the demands of restaurant life – and those not just in the kitchen.
“You start off with knife skills and you carry that everywhere you go,” he says. “But one of the bigger lessons learned, for me, was not actually on the food side but on the business side. A lot of my current work has to do with numbers and recipe and menu development. I wouldn’t know as much as I do now if I hadn’t learned so much of that in culinary school.”
Some of his biggest culinary school challenges included the day-in-day-out schedule of the program. He had an hour-long commute to school and was working a full-time job.
“It was like having a second job,” he says.
But during those long hours at school, Price established long-lasting friendships with fellow students as well as his chef instructors. He says he can still reach out to his chef instructors today if he has a question and they are happy to provide guidance.
He says his favorite part of culinary school was seeing his cooking skills develop.
“I learned to fall in love with food even more,” he says. “When I go back and look at the very first plate I ever made versus my very last one, I see how much I grew.”
As a person who “fires and hires and trains and pays people,” he says, passion for food is what he most looks for when aiming to bring on new employees.
“I don’t see a lot of people very passionate about food anymore,” says Price, speaking of the current post-pandemic restaurant industry. “I always look for passion and people who want to be there and want to learn over someone who’s just looking for extra money. The person with passion is going to be a lot more helpful, more susceptible to criticism, and be more reliable in general – at least that’s what I’ve experienced.”
For those considering enrolling in the Culinary School of Fort Worth but are not quite sure about taking the leap, Price suggests jumping in headfirst, but with full commitment.
“It was a huge commitment for me – I moved six hours away from my hometown. It was a major change for my life,” Price says. “Give it 100 percent or don’t do it at all. Some days are tougher than others and some days are more fun than others. But you have to stay committed. I believe it pays off in the end.”
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THE CULINARY SCHOOL OF FORT WORTH
Most schools can teach you the techniques of cooking and baking but The CSFTW excels at preparing you for the real-world kitchen. With our small class sizes and chef instructors who are intentional with every student, you will receive more one-on-one instruction and insight. Our school boasts in preparing students to exemplify excellence in their culinary community. We are a small, unique school that focuses on the student’s needs and we take great joy in seeing our students succeed in the culinary industry.