Student Spotlight: Michael Zeitler, Culinary Specialist
Meet Michael Zeitler, a Culinary Specialist program student with a clear plan to take his cooking career to the next level. Currently a kitchen supervisor at 1919 Kitchen and Tap (a sports bar and gastropub located in Lambeau Field), Zeitler hopes to become a sous chef – helping to create menus and prepare dishes of his own creation.
Zeitler’s passion for food and his cooking curiosity began when he was a kid, helping his mom in the kitchen. As he improved, he had fun showing off his skills to family and friends during the holidays, recalling a particularly successful creme brulee on Thanksgiving.
He currently enjoys homestyle cooking, often adding a twist – for example, making mac and cheese with a beer and bacon cheese sauce.
In the one-year Culinary Specialist program, he has not only honed the cooking skills gained from his experience at home and on the job, he has picked up new techniques in professional baking. Zeitler will start his second semester in August and is on track to graduate in December 2019.
Are you interested in a culinary career?
See what Michael Zeitler has to say about his experience, below, and learn more about the Culinary Specialist technical diploma program. Plus, check out the new Baking and Pastry Certificate - classes start in August!
- Why did you choose to enroll in the Culinary Specialist program?
I always had a passion for food. I went into the culinary field learning from experience, and then I wanted to learn more.
- Why did you choose NWTC for your education?
I chose NWTC because of the location, and it worked with my schedule of still working full-time and going to school.
- What have you enjoyed most as an NWTC student?
I’ve enjoyed learning all the baking techniques in professional baking. I was familiar with professional cooking terms and techniques because I learned from experience. I did not see much baking, so everything was new to me. I liked this because it challenged me to become a better baker, and I can make some pretty good eclairs now.
- What do you love about working in the culinary field?
I always loved cooking food. There are just so many different recipes to explore and work with. Seeing new and different foods is always interesting.
- What type of person would be a good fit for the culinary field?
Someone who loves cooking and likes to work in a fast-paced environment would be a good fit.
- What do you hope to achieve professionally in the future?
I want to become a sous chef of a restaurant, help create menus, and prepare the dishes that I create. Becoming a sous chef would be the next step in my career path.
- What has been the biggest challenge for you here at NWTC?
The biggest challenge for me was working full time and going to school, but once I got used to my schedule it got easier.
- Would you recommend NWTC to others? Why or why not?
I would recommend NWTC because they work with you to help you achieve your goals.
- Would you recommend the Culinary Specialist program to others? Why or why not?
I would recommend the Culinary Specialist program because all of my instructors wanted to see me succeed. It is such a positive environment to be in. I have learned so much that I didn’t know before.
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