Can you introduce yourself and explain your role at No More Empty Pots?

My name is Meya Hill, and I am currently the Culinary Instructor for No More Empty Pots. I teach students basic culinary skills that will assist them in either making their skills better in their current job if they are working in a restaurant, or in getting their foot in the door and using those basic skills in the culinary industry.

What role does No More Empty Pots play in the community?

No More Empty Pots plays a huge role in the community. We try to offer a lot of things, we try to utilize the farm-to-table type of model. We use local farmers to get food, we try to impact the community to help people who are hungry, and if we do charge it’s a lower cost so they are able to afford the food. We try to teach people to utilize the food that’s around them to make meals so that they are able to keep food on the table.

What do Avenue Scholars students learn/explore during career awareness with No More Empty Pots?

I’ve experienced working with Avenue Scholars a couple of times throughout the last couple years. I really admire the program because it gives students the opportunity to explore their passions, i.e. cooking. I did a few cooking classes with Avenue Scholars and there was a lot of interest in students cooking and having cooking careers. So to be able to have that one-on-one experience with students, it was great to ask questions and see what their passion was about.

Why should students consider pursuing a career in the culinary field?

There are so many aspects of the culinary world now that are opening up. It doesn’t just involve being in the kitchen. You could be a food critic, you could actually plan meals and get paid to plan meals for people. You don’t have to step foot in the kitchen, just having that knowledge of nutritional values. The culinary world is definitely opening doors for new aspects and ways to be able to use your passion in the culinary world.

What should students aiming for a career in the culinary field keep in mind?

Number one is hard work. There’s always going to be hard work in the culinary industry. There’s always going to be new ways and new things that are coming out. Students have to make that choice to adhere to that or stick to basics, stick to their heart and what they love to do. Once they figure that out it will be a great experience for them. But it’s definitely hard work in the culinary industry. There are going to be long nights, early mornings, but definitely the hard work will pay off if they want to keep their foot in the door in the culinary industry.

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