Hello! My name is Hattie Hill. I have taken a long, circuitous route to get to HMGT 1101, a route that has definitely not been linear. That being said, I believe that my path has always been leading me to this destination. My first job ever was in the culinary industry and I loved it! In high school, I was a dishwasher and food prep person for a small local catering company in Michigan. I loved everything about this job. Working with food, chatting and gossiping with the women around the prep table, listening to doo-wop music with the owner, making bread rolls, serving food at weddings and other events and even scrubbing pots and pans. It was a warm convivial atmosphere and I remember that job fondly. However, it never ever entered my thoughts to consider the food and hospitality industry as a possible career path. 

After high school, I was a Rotary high school exchange student in southwest France. This year abroad altered my life forever. My taste buds exploded. The way I saw the world and how I ate changed forever. I learned so much about cooking and eating. Still, even though all of my senses were awakened, I still never considered culinary arts as a path or passion. 

Instead, I went the more traditional academic route. I got a Bachelor’s degree in French and Anthropology and then a Master’s degree in French translation. I worked as a translator for 10 years. Somewhere in there, I moved to New York City where once again, my culinary horizons expanded. I discovered cuisines and dishes and smells here that I could have never even imagined in my wildest dreams. In college and between “real jobs,” I often worked in restaurants as a server or a barista. I LOVED these jobs, and yet it never clicked that I could pursue a different path than the one I was on. 

Fast forward a few years. I am now working in the education field, helping high school students find their post-high school career passions, and it finally dawned on me that maybe I might want to pursue my real passion. So here I am. It has been a winding road, but I am glad I am finally here. Pursuing a culinary arts degree is the fulfillment of a dream I didn’t even know I had, or at least couldn’t admit that I had. It feels great to be in the here and now.