Marketing & Events Manager
Inspirational, stimulating, exciting, educational, challenging
My parents signed us up for a lot of different camps and programs over the summer growing up, and
this one will always stand out the most for all of us. It brought us together even more as a family, made
my sister and I that much more prepared for adult hood. As well as introduced us to so many different
people from all over. This program is something I still rave about to this day, and I am now 24.
You learn so much from this program that you can actually carry on through life with you. I never
thought that a summer program my mom signed me up for as a kid, would have such a big impact on my
life. I am forever grateful.
How did the program impact the way you connect with food today?
I have always connected with food, it has the ability to bring people together and in my mind, no
problem cant be solved over a dinner table with a home cooked meal. When I was in college, I much
rather preferred to cook my own food as opposed to eating out. I grew up in a home that always ate
very fresh and healthy, but this helped carry over into my adult life.
What do you remember most?
I remember walking in and before you started any cooking, you went over the recipe and you got your
mis en place ready. I still do this. I was fortunate to be able to try all of these amazing experiences
through this program such as cooking at the Esquire grill, Waterboy, The Kitchen, competing, as well as
going to Bermuda. I loved every minute of this program.
What is your fondest memory?
Getting to go to Bermuda. I will never forget that trip and everything I learned. That trip helped me grow
up into the person I am today.
What skill, cooking technique or ‘trick’ did you learn from the program that you still use today?
Would you recommend Jr. Chef Central to a young person considering the program today?
Yes! This program helped carve my whole college and career path. I was able to teach high school
culinary classes my junior and senior year of High School. I had so many different internships throughout
high school, as well as received my certificate in culinary arts from ROP. I ultimately majored in
Hospitality Management from Cal Poly Pomona, and am now working in the hospitality industry.
Master Jr. Chef Alex Benson completed 6 years of Jr. Chef Program. Her current passions include
cooking, trying new restaurants, skiing, hiking, wine, reading.