Generously Supported By: Whole Foods
Age, at time of Internship: 17
CT Intern: Summer 2023
Restaurant Host: Sobre Mesa, Chef Nelson
Referred By: OUSD
Andrea, one of 6 siblings, is not the first of her family to intern with Sprouts Chef Training. Her brother, Hector, interned with Sprouts in 2017 at alaMar restaurant. Andrea most enjoyed how hands-on her internship with Sobre Mesa was and avidly asked questions to learn how to shuck oysters, work the garnish station, and master new ways of slicing bread. Her knife skills and kitchen safety knowledge significantly improved throughout her internship and she learned a life lesson when she accidentally dropped, and proceeded to catch, a knife before a coworker warned her, “It is better to have a dirty knife than a missing finger.”
Andrea became interested in the Sprouts Chef Training program after her advisor recommended it to her. What she appreciated most was the passion that the kitchen staff she worked with brought to each shift. As she went about her work, she would learn just by listening to chefs debate about the merits of various spices. Along with learning the basics of cooking in a professional kitchen, Andrea noted that her internship helped her grow in her skills of active communication, learning how to work with different people, and stepping outside of her comfort zone when trying new things.
Going forward, Andrea has aspirations of creating more artwork and learning about art history. A lifelong artist, Andrea keeps all her sketchbooks to track her progress. She enjoys drawing because it is both challenging and freeing, complex and creative, all at once. Her creative streak is especially showcased at Sobre Mesa when she is working the garnish station, using her artistic abilities to plate her dishes beautifully. Andrea is grateful to Whole Foods for supporting her internship. We hope Andrea continues to pursue her passions, inside and outside of the kitchen.