115th Graduation Gallery

March 2020

115th Graduation Gallery

Culinary Institute LENOTRE® 115th graduating class walked across the stage and into their bright culinary futures on Friday morning March 13th, 2020. With students from Culinary Arts, Baking & Pastry Arts and Restaurant Management – Houston is sure to witness the #LenotreLegacy first hand! Congratulations to all our graduates and good luck!

Anna Revenaugh - Graduation Speech

     Anyone who knows me could tell you that public speaking is not something that I consider myself to be good at or particularly enjoy. But I have Chef Oliviers’ promise to come up here and entertain you all if I start to choke. So have no fear. We’ll try to avoid that. 

     Kitchen is hard. Getting to this point was easy for no one. We juggle school with family, kids, jobs, and just exhaustion. Getting off a 12 hour shift and making it to class 4 hours later. That’s what we’ve chosen. As chefs, we work 6 or 7 days a week for long hours each day. Work and life are nearly inseparable. We finally finish the shift, make the drive home and spend the hours away from work trying to think up new ideas for tomorrow’s menu. We commit our lives to serving others and often, they are not grateful. So why did we choose this life?     Kitchen is family. We work side by side with our line day in and day out and many of them are not people we would usually choose to be with. But the food

must go out so we overcome our differences and work. We spend so much time together that we inevitably bond and come to know each other intimately. We count on our kitchen to watch our backs. To see if we missed something and to fix it. We trust each other. This is what I’ve learned from labs. You can’t have a working kitchen without lots of communication and at least a little trust.

Kitchen is home. We know what we’re getting into when we step through the door and greet the team. Whatever is going on outside disappears when you pick up the knife and start cooking. Our jobs don’t allow for distraction so we are forced to put aside the worries and problems of outside life and focus on getting the next plate out. Our minds are forced to rest while our hands take over the work.

     To me, food is a form of communication. We have the opportunity to touch people’s lives through our creations. We take the five senses and serve them an experience of satisfaction. We turn the simple necessity of eating into a beautiful celebration of scents and flavors that connect with our customers on an emotional level and increase their enjoyment of life. Do you know the feeling when you take a bit of something and it’s just perfect? Your eyes close and whatever you’d been worrying about fades from your mind as your senses are completely enraptured by that perfect bite?

     That’s why We’ve chosen this. We want to improve the lives of our customers the only way we know how; by giving them that feeling over and over again. That is the skill We’ve begun to develop at this school. The challenge now is taking that skill and continuing to develop it as we move into the world of cuisine. Thank you to everyone who supported us through this experience. Our chefs, Our teachers, and of course the crazy people who attended these classes with us. And to everyone who told us we’d fail, thank you for the motivation to keep going.

Matheus Cardosa Da Fonseca - Graduation Speech

     Families, Friends, Teachers, and Graduates,Thank you, for being here today, to celebrate the achievement of these beautiful people around me. My name is Matheus Da Fonseca, and it’s an honor to have been chosen as one of the speakers for this term’s graduating class.     A little bit about myself. I am an International Relations graduate, who moved to Houston January of last year from Holland. Growing up, I moved around a lot, and was blessed with the chance to experience a lot of different cultures, traditions, and met amazing people along the way, and It has without a doubt shaped who I am today. As an International Relations student, I was forced to look at all aspects of life and the world, through a birds eye view. Not jumping to conclusions, not rushing to make choices, listening to all sides and never making a decision without thinking critically, and having all the facts.

     Today, I challenge you all, to look at the bigger picture. Today, we graduate managers and chefs. Today, we have the opportunity, to go out there, and make our own decisions. Today, we have the possibility of starting fresh, no matter your past, no matter where you come from, no matter how many doubts, no matter how many people telling you, you can’t. Today, we have the opportunity, to go out into the world, and make a difference. In a world, filled with fear, and people trying to divide us. We must now, more than ever think about what it truly means to be in this beautiful industry. The industry of HOSPITALITY.

     Now… What does it mean to be hospitable.  In my opinion - Being Hospitable means to be welcoming and open, to be warm, to be friendly, to give people a home away from home. To share experiences, to share our stories. To share our passions…. And to share our glories. No matter your nationality, no matter your status, we’re all human, and we should care for each other’s happiness.  And today, that’s on us. With all this division, with all this fear, with countries becoming isolated from one another, it's now our responsibility, to go out into the world, and be Hospitable. It’s our time, to share our passion and our love of cuisine and hospitality, to everyone. Bring joy to your communities, spread love and positivity. Share your amazing talents and look at all the endless opportunities. Take risks, Think outside the box. Challenge yourself and get out of your comfort zones. The most important thing, is to never get complacent. It is never too late to make changes. As long as you keep moving forward, and never look back. Sometimes, we don’t realize our potential, until we put ourselves in a position that challenges us. Even when things don’t go our way, which unfortunately is part of life, learn from it, but whatever you do, never settle.

     To finish off, I would like to end with a quote from one of my heros, Mr Nelson Mandela, and he says.“ There is no passion to be found playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living”.  Thank you all again for coming. And to my beautiful graduating class. Go out there and spread the love and the happiness. Share your passions. And remember our responsibilities to unite people through your amazing talents.

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