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115th Graduation Gallery

March 2020

120th Graduation Gallery

Culinary Institute LENOTRE® 120th graduating classes walked across the stage and into their bright culinary futures on Friday, March 12th, 2021. 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!

Gabrielle Acosta - Graduation Speech

Class of 2021, Congratulations. We did it. Graduation day is finally here. Although the last year or so was not easy, facing Covid, getting used to online classes instead of in-person interaction, and tackling any personal obstacles that popped up. We pushed through. For this reason, I believe we are stronger for it. Therefore, if we can get through all of these challenges, we can reach our personal goals we set for ourselves. So be who you are, do what you love, and go where your heart takes you. Graduation is not the end; it’s the beginning. So cheers to this next chapter in life. May it be filled with blessings, love, motivation, and happiness. Lastly, I will leave you with this quote by Kerry Washington, ‘’your life is your story, and the adventure ahead of you is the journey to fulfill your own purpose and potential’’.

Thank You!

Gabrielle Acosta


Darius Turner - Graduation Speech

Good morning,


First, I would like to thank Mr. and Mrs. Lenotre for establishing this school. I would like to thank all my instructors in academics and in the lab. It has been an honor. To my fellow graduates, it has been an interesting time to say the least. We are all graduating while in a pandemic, survived floods and storms, and recently a winter freeze! Perfect preparation for the culinary and baking world! 


Now the real journey starts. For some, that means starting your own business and for others, it means starting in an establishment. Just know that success takes time, effort, sacrifice, passion, and perseverance. For some, it might happen fast and for others, it may take time. Stay the course.



There will be extreme highs and extreme lows, stay focused. You will always learn two things from people and that is what to do and what not to do. Pay attention. There will be joy and pain, remain true, and do not lose your passion. There might be roadblocks and speed bumps, always persevere. 

So wherever you land on this journey grow roots, soak up all the knowledge you can, and blossom into a powerful oak tree. The time is now, good luck. 


Thank You!

Darius Turner

David Starnes - Graduation Speech


Thank you for allowing me to speak today.

Let me ask you this. What brought you to here to the Culinary Institute LeNotre? For me, it was a simple bologna and cheese sandwich.

When I was young, I always helping my mom out in the kitchen and learned from her constantly. It wasn't until I made my first fried bologna sandwich that the passion for cooking started. Taking something as simple as bologna, heating it up, adding a little seasoning and cheese, elevated it to a new flavor profile that I had never experienced before. Doing this not only excited me, but got me to thinking what else can be done?

Growing up, I didn't have the chances that many were able to take advantage of.

Knowing this, I didn’t let that get me down; I kept persevering through life's obstacles and hurdles. I did not let setbacks and failures bring me down, but instead used them as learning tools and stepping stones, to help me get closer to achieving my dreams of becoming a chef and getting the education that I yearned for.


I was finally able to accomplish part of my dream here at CIL. My time here at CIL has been life-changing. The professors, chefs, and staff are incredibly supportive, encouraging and set standards for excellence inside as well as outside the classrooms and labs.

Remember that every recipe starts with a dash of passion and a pinch of confidence. Now I ask you, what are you going to change and what is your passion going to bring the culinary world?


Mr. LeNotre has a motto, "Tradition, Quality, and Respect." Going through this journey to attain more knowledge, I was able to see each aspect of his motto being practiced and taught in every class, lab and interaction with students and staff.

To experience this has been a true honor, and I will ensure my time with each of them will not be wasted.


I wanted to thank Mrs. Hill for your passion and inspiration. Mrs. Evans, for your support and positive attitude. Mrs. Grant for your attention to detail and Chef Christelle for your comprehensive knowledge and patience. Thank you to Letty for cleaning up after us and keeping us safe and sanitized. And a special thanks to my family and friends for your undying love and support.


Congratulations, 2021 grads.

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