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Michael Wentz – Culinary Arts Diploma Graduate | Modesto

“I grew up with a mom who has always been in the culinary field and owned her own businesses, and I always loved being around the environment, all the customers are always happy and excited to come by as routine for the product she offered. Once I was able to help I was very grateful to learn the trade and it brought me joy to see the smiles the food brought to people. I knew I one day would thrive in the industry myself.

I worked at various restaurants trying to work my way up into becoming a cook. It took years, but when I got my chance there was no holding me back. I was very involved and loved learning new techniques and recipes. But it wasn’t until the restaurant I was cooking at closed and I didn’t know what I was going to do.

Then a friend mentioned to me about the culinary school he attended (IOT Modesto) and all it had to offer. So I went down to check it out for myself and it was there that I fell in love and it was there where my eyes opened to all the depths a culinary career can take me. I loved all my teachers and how they were personal with their students and truly wanted to help direct them to reach their goals. I got to experience new equipment, learn knife skills, and learn the history of many cultures and their cuisine. And of course meet many other people who shared the same passion.

This school did not disappoint. They even went the distance for me to find out where I saw myself going in the career and would show me all the possibilities and what it would take to make it happen. They would bring in successful chefs to talk to us and even got me scheduled interviews. I was very impressed and excited that they could help me execute my dream.

Since I’ve graduated I still keep in contact with the school and have had numerous jobs as a chef, And I am proud to say I just landed a new job I’ve dreamed of but never thought was possible for me until I attended this school. I am now working directly for the executive chef on a cruise ship and couldn’t be more thrilled. I have high hopes for my future in this career and I don’t know how I would of made it this far without this school being part of my journey.”

Michael Wentz, CAD, Class of 2023