Generously Supported By: Individual donor from Sprouts community
Age, at time of Internship: 17
CT Intern: Summer 2023
Restaurant Host: Almond and Oak, Chef Rico Rivera
Referred By: Oakland Unified School District (OUSD)
Jahasiel has always enjoyed the communal nature of cooking. His philosophy is, “If everyone has to eat, and you have the ability to make the meal better, why wouldn’t you?” Jahasiel practices cooking meals on his own time; his friends enjoy his burgers, and his family likes the steak and pasta dishes he prepares. In 2023, Jahasiel got his first chance to work in a professional kitchen at Almond and Oak, under mentor Chef Rico Rivera.
Jahasiel is driven toward earning a career in the culinary industry. He appreciated working under Chef Rico’s guidance to learn formal food preparation techniques. Additionally, Jahasiel’s communication skills strengthened as he asked lots of questions during his shifts to ensure he was completing each kitchen task correctly. Over the course of the internship, Jahasiel became encouraged when recognizing his progress in his knife skills, a skill he is actively working to perfect. Throughout the summer Jahasiel grew closer with the staff of Almond and Oak and, as his relationships grew, felt he developed his ability to accept feedback without getting discouraged; instead, he learned to leverage feedback to make his cooking skills better.
Jahasiel’s mantra is to continually improve himself, both inside and outside of the kitchen. Jahasiel’s internship helped him find his professional voice, which will aid him in his future dreams of someday owning a restaurant. When he is not perfecting his favorite dishes, Jahasiel enjoys reading philosophical books that change his perspective on things; at the time of his internship, he was reading I Heard You Paint Houses by Charles Brandt. Jahasiel is grateful for his internship and knows his skills in responsibility, honesty, and determination will help him find a career in the culinary industry.