ACF Young Chefs of the Month Recipients

January 2018 - Mentorship

Sarah Dilling, Achille, Oklahoma, Texas Chefs Association

Tell us about the qualities you admire in your mentor and how he/she has helped you.

Chef Joanna Bryant was the first person that I met when I started my culinary education at Grayson College. Not only has she trained me so that I can ever improve in the kitchen, but she helped create the path for me to enter college early. I was home schooled on a farm in Oklahoma and graduated high school at 15. When I was fourteen, she worked with the College Board to allow younger students to enter the program. Now thanks to her, I will have a Culinary AAS and Hospitality Management AAS degree at the age of eighteen. I found out that Chef had nominated me for the President’s Award at Grayson College, which is rarely given. I won the President’s Award. I feel thankful to Chef Bryant for considering me for the award and giving me the opportunity to learn and study under her. She has also supplied multiple chances to go outside our program and learn in the industry. I have worked with her helping many non-profits such as the Child and Family Guidance Center of Texoma, Women Rock Inc. for breast cancer, Reba McIntyre’s Ranch House, and the Texoma Health Foundation. I have also worked with Chef Bryant and Chef Robert Irvine at the American Airline’s SkyBall benefiting many veterans’ organizations. Thanks to her hard work, I have competed in the Baron H. Knowledge Bowl in Hawaii and Chicago earning an ACF silver medal in Chicago. Now that I am finishing up my time under Chef Bryant, I am representing the State of Texas in the student team competition in Wisconsin in February. Chef Bryant has taught me what it means to be a mentor, which I plan on passing on to others throughout my career and life.