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A spirit that is not afraid

Day in the life of a culinary student

Adi Ansley stands in front of Culinary Science Center on Sep. 21, 2022
Adi Ansley stands in front of Culinary Science Center on Sep. 21, 2022

It's an exciting year for Auburn's Culinary Science Program. 

The new home for the e program, The Tony and Libba Rane Culinary Science Center, opened Aug. 16. The building features two new facilities that simultaneously work as a hands-on experience for culinary science students and serve the community. 

For Adi Nease, junior in culinary science, this building will afford many new opportunities.

“What I am excited about for the Rane center is the ability to experience and work in a world-class lab. It has been insane working with high-tech equipment and it is just so fun cooking in the labs we have,” Nease said. 

The Rane center isn’t just for high-tech equipment and nice kitchens, though.

“Being trained in this world-class culinary school will give me the upper hand once I graduate," Nease said. "The whole country is talking about this new program and school, and once we graduate the industry will know that students who come from Auburn are next level.”

Auburn University’s Culinary Science program is one of six educational programs in the United States that has been certified by the World Association of Chefs Societies.

The Worldchefs Recognition of Quality Culinary Education is the only international certification program that evaluates culinary education. Only 106 institutions in the world have met or exceeded the Worldchefs Education Committee’s global standards for quality culinary education, and Auburn University is among them.

Nease’s day is a little different than the average student at Auburn. On top of professional development, American literature, financial accounting and management foundations, she’s also taking an advanced culinary lab, which occurs on most Friday mornings. 

“On lab days, I arrive at the Rane center around 7:40 a.m. to go down to the locker room and put on my chef whites. Once we arrive at the lab, we do lineups to make sure we are dressed appropriately and have all of our recipes and plans for work,” said Ansley.

They’ll huddle for 30 minutes to discuss their plan of action, then break off into teams and get to work. Once all the recipes are completed, the students will sit down as a team and taste their creations. Then, they consider what worked and did not work within the recipes to reflect on the work in their portfolios. Generally, Nease will work here from 8-11 a.m. 

Nease is more than grateful for the possibilities Auburn has given her. 

“Being a culinary student here has presented so many opportunities such as jobs and internships," Nease said, "I’m so grateful they allow us to work for our school as well as be taught by highly experienced chefs. Chef Plana has made my time at Auburn all the more enjoyable because she brings life into every lesson and cares so much for her students.” 

Outside of the culinary lab, Nease works as a chef at a local Auburn restaurant, The Irritable Bao.

“Working there has been such an eye-opening experience because of the different food styles I get to experiment with a culture different from my own,” said Nease. “I love every second of it and I am so happy to work there!”

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