Success Stories

Following My Dreams: Patrick White

My mom always says that I was born a cook. Ever since I could stand, I was in the kitchen watching her and trying to help, no matter if I could stir, pour, or just watch. I did all I could. The first class I took in high school was culinary.  Then I joined the baking team my sophomore year and made the culinary team my junior and senior year. I loved to bake and decorate cakes.

At age 16, ProStart helped me start a small cake business where I could bake and decorate cakes. Then I got into culinary competitions and my love for cooking grew. ProStart classes gave me a chance to excel and follow my dreams. They showed me new skills, they gave me connections and chances not many kids get. I got to go cook at the TexMex challenge with Taco Johns and do many more competitions. Things weren’t always easy, we lost competitions and had fights. Some days I questioned if I really wanted to do this. But my mom was always there to lift me up and reassure me.

When the end of my senior year rolled around I heard about the Escoffier culinary school and applied. They called me back right away and said that I was at the top of the list with my experience from ProStart. ProStart truly gave me a step up and taught me so much; it gave me everything I needed to grow my cooking skills. It helped our teams get to state competitions and gave me scholarships. Without ProStart, there is no way I would have been able to go to Escoffier and continue my journey through the culinary world.

I received many job offers while attending Escoffier – everywhere from Alaskan resort lodges to Disney World. I could only choose one, but they offered me jobs even after my externship. I am now at the Broadmoor – a Forbes Five-Star and AAA Five-Diamond luxury resort in Colorado Springs. I’ve been able to meet people from the Netherlands to Australia. I have even had the opportunity to meet celebrities, like the owner of Papa Johns.

 In just a few short months I went from graduating high school to graduating college to working at one of the top restaurants in the nation. Within the culinary industry, you can do anything you want. Food is a universal language – you can go anywhere and cook. In culinary or baking you can do anything, anywhere.  The only limitation is your imagination. Culinary is the best thing that has ever happened to me and now I get to do something I love every day; I will never have to work a day in my life with culinary as my career.  My dreams are being achieved everyday thanks to the start and support from ProStart. ProStart is an amazing organization and I couldn’t be who I am where I am today without them.