Alumni Spotlight: Carlos Jimenez
For Carlos Jimenez, continuing community college just wasn’t in the cards.
The California native moved to Fort Worth five years ago with his parents after his dad found a new job in the DFW area. With a passion for food he’s had since childhood, Jimenez decided to research culinary schools instead of traditional colleges upon arrival.
“My desire to cook vastly outweighed my desire to keep studying business,” he says.
Jimenez’s time in the kitchen started when he was a kid, helping his mother and grandmother prep meals for the family.
“As cheesy as it may sound, I also enjoyed watching Food Network reality cooking shows, like Chopped and Iron Chef America,” he says. “I also liked shows about the science side of cooking, like Good Eats. But growing up and going through school, I never thought I could do it as a career.”
The Culinary School of Fort Worth was conveniently located and fit within his budget, he says. The program’s fast-paced nature (like that of a real restaurant) kept him on toes, making it essential to pay attention, stay caught up with reading assignments, and take advantage of after-class activities.
“The Culinary School of Fort Worth gave me a solid foundation of knowledge of food, technique, and networking to take my first step into the culinary industry,” says Jimenez, who’s now the sous chef at Marcus Paslay’s authentic Italian concept, Piatello Italian Kitchen, located in WestBend.
As for his future endeavors, Jimenez hopes to explore more aspects of the culinary industry, including pastry.
“Ideally, I’d like to be well-rounded as a chef but ultimately end up fully dedicated to the pastry side of food,” he says.
To those considering enrolling in the Culinary School of Fort Worth, Jimenez highly recommends the program.
“If the desire is to learn to create excellent and creative things with food, you’ll definitely find that at the Culinary School of Fort Worth with the help and guidance of the chef instructors.”