Fulfilling Culinary Dreams: An Exclusive Q&A with Chef Nadine Howell
Pasta & Pizza Culinary Head for PYC Foods
In this Q&A, we spoke with Chef Nadine Howell, the Pasta & Pizza Culinary Head for PYC Foods. PYC Foods Corporation’s umbrella includes One World Deli, Pardon My French, One World Butchers, and many more.
Nadine hails herself as a carb enthusiast, and we love her for it. In this Q&A, she shared insights into her exciting career and time at CCA Manila. Let’s look into her culinary journey.
What excites you?
I currently work as the Pasta & Pizza Culinary Head for PYC Foods, developing products, recipes, and processes for everything related to pasta and pizza.
I occasionally get to run pasta-making workshops, too! What excites me the most about my job is creating solutions for our delis, restaurants, and even our customers to create high-quality pasta and pizza dishes for any setting.
It gives me so much joy to empower people to cook and create.
The Journey to CCA Manila: What convinced you to choose CCA?
I knew at a very young age that I wanted to work in the F&B industry and that I wanted to go to a school with a strong focus on the culinary arts with excellent facilities and instructors.
CCA Manila ticked all those boxes for me.
What was your time like at CCA Manila, and what would be your highlight?
Looking back, my time at CCA was equal parts exciting and challenging. Every day was filled with new information and tasks I had never done before.
Between kitchen classes and lectures, it was instilled in us that working in a professional kitchen isn’t for everyone. It can be tough, physically, and mentally taxing, but perseverance is extremely rewarding.
I was assigned to work at the egg station at the breakfast buffet during my apprenticeship at The Mandarin Oriental. There, I tasted being part of a “real world” kitchen. I interacted with long-time industry professionals, fellow culinary school students, and customers.
Sure enough, the work was hard, but seeing the delight on a customer’s face makes it all worthwhile, just as it still does today.
How has your education helped you?
I refer to what I learned at CCA all the time. From computing food cost percentages to proper cooking methods, to keeping a cool head under pressure!
What’s your advice to culinary students entering the industry?
While attending culinary school does set you up with an advantage, the industry offers opportunities to learn new skills. Never stop learning, no matter what stage you are in your career.
Where do you find your culinary inspiration?
I find my culinary inspiration from home cooks, my family, and the chefs I work with daily.
If you could prepare one dish for someone, what would it be?
Ossobuco cooked until it falls apart, served in a big bowl with fresh pappardelle.
Enthusiasm is common at the start of any culinary journey. The challenge is sustaining it. All you have to do is look at Nadine’s Instagram to learn that behind every perfect picture of pasta, a lot goes into it. And her commitment to learning and being creative is one we can all aspire for.
Follow Chef Nadine’s culinary journey through Instagram. If you’d like to fulfill your culinary dream or know more about the program Chef Nadine graduated from, contact us at email@example.com.