Aspiring cook does her seasoning at Harrah’s
Since its birth last fall, Lake Tahoe Community College’s Culinary Arts Program has come a long way.
Thanks to Harrah’s Lake Tahoe, LTCC Culinary Arts student Lenore Fahey was given a rare opportunity.
Executive Chef Paul Lee chose Fahey as a two-quarter intern at the Summit Restaurant.
“The difference between an intern and just hiring a cook is the goals that an intern has parallel the goals of a professional chef,” Lee said. “(Those goals are) achieving a standard of excellence and providing a quality experience for our guests.”
Fahey, a great-grandmother who has been out of school for 27 years, said she is grateful for the opportunity Harrah’s has provided her.
“The Executive Chef Paul Lee and Harrah’s gave me a great opportunity to work at the Summit,” said Fahey, originally from the Bay Area. “The best part about my job is (Summit Chef De Cuisine) Dan Worley and the kitchen staff. They treat me with such respect.”
Worley seems equally pleased to be working with Fahey.
“We benefit by having a very enthusiastic employee, who is eager to learn,” Worley said. “(Fahey) shows up with a good attitude, and that’s half the battle. Lenore does a great job here.”
Fahey said she started out taking cooking classes at LTCC for fun, but now looks forward to a career as a chef.
“It’s heading in that direction,” Fahey said. “I’ve learned a lot since I’ve been here. This kitchen is very creative. Everything is pretty much perfection. Everything has to be perfect for the guests and for my chef (Worley.)”
LTCC Culinary Arts Instructor Steve Fernald suggested Fahey go after the Harrah’s internship and said he recommends interning sooner rather than later.
“It lets the student know early on whether they really like this kind of work,” Fernald said. “They get a full idea of what is involved and what is at stake. It gives them a broader perspective.”
Fahey is the first LTCC student to intern in the Summit kitchen.
“Harrah’s has always supported Lake Tahoe Community College,” Lee said. “There is a definite parallel between education and this industry. The chefs at Harrah’s encourage all of our employees to take classes at LTCC to encourage their growth and to support the college.”
So what’s next for Fahey?
She and 22 other cooks will be catering for 47,000 people a day at the 100th U.S. Open at Pebble Beach, Calif., in June.
“Then I want to continue my education and get a degree in culinary arts and maybe do a few more internships at Harrah’s,” Fahey said.
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