Graduate TBCs - Sept. 2011
Q & A with Teen Battle Chef Alumna: Nyasha!
This month, we interviewed Teen Battle Chef Graduate, Nyasha Alexander. Nyasha is a superstar TBC who graduated from the Urban Assembly of Music and Art in Brooklyn. Nyasha pioneered the role of TBC peer instructor. She co-led a class of new TBCs at UAMA. Her peers were inspired by her compassionate, fun approach to heath and cooking—it was all about being a family in Nyasha’s kitchen.
Let’s see what she had to say to FCP’s Program Manager Jessie Leinwand about her second week of college at SUNY Delhi in the Culinary Arts and Business Administration Management program.
JL: How is your second week of college going?
NA: It’s fun. It’s great—a big adjustment though. Here it’s all towns, mountains, everything is spread apart so you need to know someone with a car to get around. But the people are really nice here—not like New York. Everyone here is smiling.
JL: That’s awesome. What classes are you taking this term?
NA: Culinary 1- where I get to wear my culinary uniform. We are doing basic stuff that I already know from TBC like knife skills, sanitation and food hygiene. I am learning about classroom etiquette, like how to interact and coordinate with a lab partner—It’s a partnership thing, working in the kitchen.
Then I have Menu Planning—that’s a breeze. We had to make a recipe to show the professor what we already knew and I made my favorite, the Jambalaya from TBC. My teacher loved it and we got an A on that! I love that recipe.
JL: That’s my favorite too! What made you pick this program?
NA: When I was teaching my peers the TBC program at my high school, it felt good to give back what I know. I want to keep that up because I get from giving!
JL: What are your plans for the future and for your career?
NA: I want to have my own upscale "Hollywood style" restaurant for business people. I am enrolled in the culinary and business program to learn how to run both the front and the back of the house for my business. I want to be able to prepare food and succeed with the business side.
JL: Do you think there were any other lessons you took from your TBC experience that will help you in college?
NA: Of course! When I was in TBC, I was able to teach and broaden my culinary horizons. I was no longer just stuck cooking what I'd known. I was able to take from what other people had to say—my peers, my teachers, and improve. I am not so one-track-minded anymore.
JL: What advise do you have to up and coming TBCs?
NA: My advice for you if you have a culinary arts dream, is that no matter the situation, don’t give up and stay committed to what you have to do. And if you can join a TBC program, do it! It offers great mentorship and will help you get there.
Thank you, Nyasha, for being an inspiration, as always! We miss you and wish you a fabulous year at SUNY Delhi.