NEW YORK, April 19, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Chef DeVoria Simmons knows the importance of real-life experience and mentoring for students in the culinary arts. Further, she knows how important it is for multi-cultural students to have great role models in the field. And no one is a better role model than Simmons.
As a chef instructor at Star Career Academy in New York and a member of the Black Chefs Association (BCA), Simmons is taking more than 20 students to the upcoming BCA's 19th Annual Cultural Awareness Salute Gala, scheduled for April 21 at Guastavino's in New York City. Students and faculty will prepare eight dishes, both hors d'oeuvres and desserts, including scallop ceviche, curried risotto cakes with chicken and kale, passion fruit cheesecake and a hazelnut dome.
"Our students are largely of multi-cultural backgrounds and there are very few chefs that they see on television like them," Simmons says. "This is a motivation for them."
The BCA is a nationwide non-profit, educational and networking organization of hospitality and food service professionals with a mission to create exposure and provide educational and professional opportunities for culinary and hospitality professionals of color.
Chef Simmons has been a member of BCA for six years and has facilitated Star Career Academy's involvement with the organization during that time.
"I love my students and as someone who grew up in the 60s I was taught that community and family was important," she says. "Being an African American woman, I know what it's like to struggle for success as the only minority in the kitchen and wishing I had a person who understood my struggle and inspire me."
After culinary school, she worked at a series of jobs in Houston and Chicago, including as executive sous chef at Chicago Caterers, cooking for celebrities like Oprah Winfrey, Michael Jordan and Coretta Scott King. But today, Simmons is pursuing her passion by teaching and cooking.
"Being in the culinary field, it's about giving my students the push and encouragement that most have never had to be successful and accomplish something they dream of," says Chef Simmons. "It's about contribution and commitment. I change lives and that's what I love about my job."
For more information, visit www.starcareeracademy.com.
SOURCE Star Career Academy