By RMU Culinary Student, Melissa Alamilo

Ever since I was a little girl I’ve wanted to learn how to cook. At the age of 10, I’d started to gain some knowledge from my grandma. She taught me  how to cook our traditional Mexican dishes, and that’s where the passion began. I took classes in high school, and it gave me the drive to investigate schools that offer amazing culinary classes. That is how I discovered Robert Morris University.

On the first day in the RMU kitchen I was nervous because we were learning knife cuts. Though the classes I took in high school did not give me that knowledge, it didn’t stop me. I took the time to come after school and work with my chef/teacher.  This helped give me confidence. By the third week I finally felt like I belonged in the kitchen. As I have learned more my passion only grew.

By the end of my first year at RMU I had the opportunity to take part in an International Taiwanese Competition with a couple of friends. At first when we saw who was also doing the competition we thought we didn’t have a chance. But together we had confidence.  We were there to have the experience of cooking with other people from a different country and see how they view the culinary world. It was all very exciting, especially doing the competition with friends. At the end of the competition, we won third place, which was amazing. It boosted our confidence. We now want to do it again and improve our next menu. Now, going into my second, and sadly last year at RMU, my confidence is amazing.  At this point, we don’t have to follow the recipe in class, and we can develop our own techniques and use our taste palate to our advantage. And this leads me to the best part of my story; my internship. I am interning at a fine dining Italian Restaurant. Though nervous starting out, I’ve learned how to manage my three line stations three stations by myself within a month. There is still more to improve, but my passion is only growing more.

Recently, I was given the opportunity to keep working at this restaurant. I landed my dream job where I can practice my passion.

To learn more about RMU’s Culinary Arts Program, visit www.robertmorris.edu/culinary.