Chef in the Making

Culinary student’s journey with becoming a chef since a young age

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As junior Isaiah Macias scatters back and forth to prepare an extravagant set up for the dining table. He prepares to serve his whole family as the smell of various food fills the house. Macias loves cooking and every time he sees a smile of delicious satisfaction on his mom’s face, he knows he has chosen the right career to pursue.

At the young age of four, Macias helped operate the kitchen with his mother. Ever since then he has taken steps to make sure cooking will always be apart of his life. The aspiring chef is in culinary class, spends hours experimenting with food at home, and has already been accepted by the Arizona Culinary Institute.

“The majority of my childhood was cooking with her,” Macias said. “She deserves credit for sparking up this dream, it’s not just following recipes, it’s putting emotions into it because if not your food will be boring.”

Macias, now in his third year of culinary, has gained experience from the environment of being in a closed space of a kitchen. Dealing with the fast-paced responsibilities of getting things done and following orders from culinary teacher Ceaser Hinojosa, he has proved himself advanced and executes leadership.

“Before I started teaching him anything he was already doing stuff. He goes above and beyond everybody and helps everyone out. I give him hard tasks and he always performs,” Hinojosa said.

Macias shares his admiration of cooking with his family and friends by bringing food he makes from home or in class, to school. Especially with his culinary partner, junior Angel Reza who has cooked with him for two years. Both of them have formed a special bond by learning more about each other’s mannerisms, working together in the kitchen.

“He’s always trying new things, like having me taste new spices he mixes together. You can tell he really has a passion and amazing energy for this. If something needs to get done, Isaiah is always willing to put in extra work because I don’t think he sees it as work, I think cooking is really something he enjoys doing,” Reza said.

Other than joining culinary, Macias has put effort into bringing his love of culinary outside of school and his house by trying to find a job. Hoping to get the job and start getting paid for what he loves to do, he has applied at different restaurants like Village Inn, Mi Piaci, and Monteleones.

“For right now, I’m still waiting to hear back from them but I can’t wait to start. I’d mostly like to get hired at an Italian place because that’s my favorite food to cook,” Macias said.

Looking to his future after high school, he has applied to different institutes that major in culinary. He’s been accepted to Arizona Culinary Institute and has received a two-month internship at Disneyland.

“I really love it because it’s not like other big schools that’s just on the computer. It’s hands-on in the kitchen and the Disneyland internship is a dream,” Macias said.

After college he wants to open up a restaurant decorated in a well-known art town as in St. Louis and after that start spreading out in other towns. The theme would revolve around the different countries Macias has traveled to.

“It will be called the St. Aristocats because it’s of the highest class. It would be experimental food,” Macias said.

One of his goals is to travel around the world,learning under different chefs and restaurants. “Greece and Italy would be the first two places I’d visit, because the culture the chefs put in their food is amazing,” Macias said.

As with every journey there are obstacles to face before the end. Macias has faced doubt if he wasn’t good enough in becoming a chef, however he always remembered why he fell in love with cooking in the first place – the memory of how he feels when he’s in that state.

“I did stop cooking for a while but I realized it helps free my mind. I’m bad at expressing emotions and talking but that’s what I love about cooking it’s freeing,” Macias said. “It’s your own world.”