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Food Service DirectorFresh Brookshire'sTyler, Texas
“I heard about El Centro’s chef apprenticeship program and found that it was really close to home and affordable. Although I didn’t finish the degree, I immediately went to work as a partner in a wholesale bakery in Van Alstyne with Douglas Ray, the chef I did my pastry apprenticeship with. Then I opened my own hamburger place in Terrell and was sous chef, executive sous, executive chef, bakery manager and deli/cheese manager at Central Market in my eight and a half years at the Lover's Lane store.
“The best part of my education was the fact that you get to learn from people who have actually worked as chefs, like Chris LaLonde, Beth Sonnier and Anne Macdonald, and are not just educators in the culinary arts. I got the direction I needed to understand how the food service industry works. We learned in the classic chef brigade format, in the hierarchy of the kitchen — and as we worked our way through, we understood what it was like to be both the dishwasher and the executive chef.
“In this business, you have to have a real dedication to what you’re doing and be willing to learn from the bottom up. If you come in thinking it’s going to be like it is on TV, you don’t have a clue what you’re getting into — it’s not anything like that. The world doesn’t revolve around one-hour segments in the real world.
“Now I’ve got the opportunity to help build something from beginning. Brookshire’s is a long-standing east Texas grocery company — 83 years — but it’s bringing a specialty section to what will continue to be a full-service grocery store chain. I’m in charge of prepared foods, deli/cheese and catering. The company is meeting the needs of the market, with more upscale prepared foods for people eating at home. Any time you begin a new job the responsibility can be scary, but being able to build something from the ground up is also a lot of fun.”
Kyle Glasscock finished El Centro’s chef apprenticeship program in 1995. He is now the food service director at FRESH by Brookshire's in Tyler, Texas, supervising all perishable and food service departments with over 125 partners.