Kylie Glover—Beginning Her Culinary Journey at ECC
East Central College Culinary Arts student Kylie Glover has the talent, desire and ambition to pursue her culinary dream, and when she learned she was awarded a $5,000 scholarship, the final piece fell into place.
Glover received a National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) scholarship, an award given to high school students pursuing a post-secondary degree in the hospitality industry. NRAEF annually awards more than $1 million to students pursuing a post-secondary degree in the hospitality industry.
Glover, who began her second semester at ECC this week, said the scholarship made it possible for her to begin her college journey, adding that she already has gained so much from the program.
“One big thing I’ve learned that has changed my perspective of culinary arts is that talent is second in light of hard work,” she said. “Talent can be developed over time, but you will only last in the industry if you can pull your weight and reflect your passion into your work every day.”
Glover added that the shared experiences with her classmates and the knowledge and skill of the program’s faculty have been the greatest part of her first year.
“My absolute favorite part of the ECC culinary program has been the people I work with, both my chef instructors and classmates, in an environment where we can all learn from one another, and hear each other’s stories of various culinary adventures,” she said.
Glover graduated in 2022 from Clearwater High School in Piedmont. In high school, Glover was in the ProStart Culinary Program, a national career and technical education program that unites the foodservice industry and the classroom to teach high school students’ culinary skills and restaurant management principles.
It was through her ProStart instructor, Christy “Mama J” Johnson, that Glover first became aware of ECC’s Culinary Arts program. Johnson was familiar with ECC and the culinary arts program through workshops she attended with Chef Mike Palazzola, ECC’s Culinary Arts program coordinator.
Johnson invited ECC 2018 graduate and Clearview High 2016 graduate Nathan Yount to talk with the class. Yount who, just like Glover, became interested in culinary arts in the ProStart program.
In 2019, Yount won first place in the National Jeune Commis Competition, sponsored by The Chaîne des Rôtisseurs, the world’s oldest international gastronomic society.
In Yount’s message to the Clearview High ProStart class he talked about ECC’s Culinary program and how it prepared him for success.
“He told us how put together the ECC program is and that it helped him build a solid foundation in the culinary world,” Glover said.
She also had a chance to visit ECC last spring when Johnson and her ProStart students dined at the Restaurant at Prairie Dell. The class met Palazzola and learned even more about the college’s program.
“We talked with Chef Mike, and I was sold on it,” Glover said. “I saw that this program is very cool.”
Students who complete the two-year ECC Culinary Arts program earn an associate of science degree. Glover still has two full semesters, and most of a third to go, but she already is looking ahead.
Part of the curriculum of the Culinary Arts program is a summer internship after the first two semesters.
“I don’t have a restaurant picked out, but I am looking for a scratch kitchen where I gain some experience,” Glover said.
After graduation, Glover set her sights on continuing to learn and gain experience.
“My main goal after graduation is to work in several areas of the industry over the years, in order to learn as much as possible so eventually I can maybe open my own restaurant,” she said.
“My absolute dream job, should there be no boundaries, would to either be a famous restaurateur, or a professor at the Culinary Institute of America, where I can research foods science in some of the best educational kitchens,” Glover added. “I think it would be fun to eventually earn a doctorate in molecular gastronomy and have the professional title, ‘Dr. Chef.’”
To learn more about ECC’s Culinary Arts program, visit www.eastcentral.edu/career-technical-education/culinary-arts/, or contact Chef Palazzola at 636-584-6793, or Michael.Palazzola@eastcentral.edu.