One of the very first things students at the Culinary School of Fort Worth learn – soon after knife skills and the meaning of mise en place – is whether they are a “savory person” or a “sweet person.”
“I am one of those people who prefer savory over sweet,” says alumni DayJus Hill. “Although (the pastry) semester was a challenge, I didn’t do as bad as I thought I would’ve.”
The Dallas native enrolled in the Culinary School of Fort Worth shortly after the start of the pandemic in 2020. Hill was previously attending Texas Christian University on a full scholarship, but when her classes went completely virtual, she craved something more.
“I decided to move on and follow my dream to become a chef,” says Hill, adding that her interest in cooking began as a child when she would help her grandfather in the kitchen. “I Googled accelerated culinary school programs and found the Culinary School of Fort Worth.”
Her training has paid off in more ways than one. Today she currently runs her own catering business called Dine with DayJ, providing not only catering services but meal planning and healthy dining options. She is also the lead chef for the Jason Terry Foundation, a youth-based organization founded by former Dallas Maverick Jason Terry that assists children from low-income neighborhoods. Hill helps provide after-school meals for participants in the program.
“My culinary school experience holds me accountable when working in different settings,” Hill says. “Because my chef instructors ensured that we memorized all safety information regarding food storage, knives, and professionalism, I am able to train others that same way. My end goal is to continue to gain experience in different avenues of the industry and to grow my business.”
Her advice to future culinary school students: “Stay open minded and ask lots of questions.”