You’ve heard it said, “Follow your passion and the rest will come.” For Lauren Strother living by that advice meant stepping into the kitchen at The Chef’s Academy (TCA). “I’ve had a long-time love for making desserts and I knew it was time for me to do something for myself and to better my skills in an area where I had a lot of passion. I loved the idea of small class sizes and the one-on-one attention I felt I would get at TCA,” said Strother.
Her team of encouragers included more than just her family, as she explained, “My family was my number one support and it was wonderful to know that they believed in me and my talent. But when it comes to TCA, I couldn’t narrow it down to just one person. Every instructor and everyone in the admissions office all played a role in my success at TCA. I loved that it felt like they really wanted me to succeed and reach my potential. The instructors became like a part of my family and were there to help me with any struggles I had.”
One issue that Strother candidly admits was an obstacle in her own mind was her age. “I was the oldest person in my pastry classes and book classes. I think my age made me work harder and made me want to encourage those around me to worker harder as well. I was kind of like the class ‘mom’ a role I had no issue with,” shared Strother.
“My favorite memory of my time at TCA would have to be working Super Bowl weekend. I think I volunteered for every opening, just because I was so excited to work with some amazing chefs from all over. I worked the Friday Night Lights party and the Taste of the NFL party with Mauro and Joey from Cake Boss. What an incredible experience! As a result of working with them they told me I could use them as a reference on my resume! How cool is that? I was exhausted at the end of the week, but was totally worth it!”
In addition to her Super Bowl experience some other notable accomplishments include Chocolate Fest (with a featured chocolate and only two in her class were given that honor) receiving the “Student of the Term” award and winning first place in the first annual cake competition. Extending her excellence beyond the classroom, Strother is currently employed as a pastry chef at an upscale restaurant in Indianapolis where she recently created a new dessert that is being frequently featured on their menu. “My experience at TCA not only gave me the courage to apply at a five star restaurant but also the wonderful skills I needed in order to land the job!” said Strother.
Already stepping in to help those on the journey behind her, Strother is an active member of the Harrison College Alumni Association and is serving as an Alumni Ambassador. For anyone considering furthering their education she shared this advice, “Do it! You’ll be so happy you invested in yourself! You can only go up from here!!” Spoken by someone whose life truly exemplifies, “the proof is in the pudding!”