US Foods Scholars program
We proudly support programs that help underserved youth reach their culinary dreams. That’s why, in August 2017, we launched our US Foods® Scholars program.
US Foods Scholars awards financial support and professional development opportunities to students who plan to pursue an education in the culinary arts and enter the restaurant industry. We work with our partners the Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP) and the American Culinary Federation (ACF) to identify deserving students who have demonstrated outstanding potential and achievement in the culinary arts and require additional resources to take the next step of their culinary journey. The program aims to inspire students to reach their full potential and contribute a meaningful solution to the talent shortage facing the restaurant industry.
US Foods Scholars began in Chicago and Arizona and has begun to expand into additional markets. We are proud to announce our 2018 US Foods Scholars from Chicago and Arizona.
2018 US Foods Scholars
Bran’de Gilbert is a first-year baking & pastry student at Kendall College’s School of Culinary Arts in Chicago. She started cooking at the age of three, when her father taught her how to pick and clean greens. After a few more years of shadowing her parents in the kitchen, she eventually became responsible for cooking the majority of her family’s meals.
Bran’de realized that she wanted to turn her love for cooking into a career during her sophomore year in high school, following a five-week culinary exploratory program at Simeon Career Academy. She began taking advantage of all the resources available at her school, including working closely with the culinary teacher, and going on a trip to Canada with a group of other students interested in culinary arts.
Being a US Foods Scholars is helping Bran’de achieve her dream of becoming a pastry chef. Her goal is to own multiple bakeries and/or pastry trucks–and inspire other young students like herself to pursue a career in the culinary industry.
Fun Facts about Bran’de
Favorite dish: “Brownies. I love to make different types of candy-flavored brownies.”
Most memorable kitchen moment: “Last year, when I made homemade pasta from scratch for the very first time.”
What it means to be a US Foods Scholar: “Working hard, maintaining good grades, never giving up when things get tough and always communicating.”
Gabrielle Siegfried is a first-year baking & pastry and hospitality management student at Kendall College’s School of Culinary Arts in Chicago.
Gabrielle’s passion for the culinary arts stems from her love of bringing people together. She learned the impact of making connections through food by watching cooking shows and baking with her grandmother. Gabrielle began cooking regularly when she was in middle school and became the resident baker for her art club. Not only were her creations an instant hit with the other members, but they inspired Gabrielle to pursue a career as a pastry chef.
Being a US Foods Scholar helps Gabrielle work towards her dream of attaining her degree in the culinary arts and hospitality management, and to continue using baking to connect with people of all backgrounds. After she graduates, she hopes to pursue a career working for a food company that offers a wide array of career opportunities and encourages other students to achieve their dreams.
Fun Facts about Gabrielle
Favorite dish: “Any kind of cookie or cake!”
Most memorable kitchen moment: “Making my parents a four-course meal for my dad’s birthday all by myself.”
What it means to be a US Foods Scholar: “The door of opportunity is now open in ways I never could have imagined, and all of my hard work is paying off.”
Elliott Moore is a freshman majoring in culinary arts at Joliet Junior College in Joliet, Illinois.
Elliott has been cooking for over seven years. His interest in the culinary arts was sparked by his father, who he grew up watching in the kitchen. When Elliott
had the opportunity to take culinary classes in high school, this only solidified his passion. His father is an avid supporter of his career goals and continues to encourage Elliott to follow his dreams.
As a US Foods Scholar, Elliott hopes to earn his degree in the culinary arts and eventually pursue his dream of being a professional chef on a cruise ship.
Fun Facts about Elliott
Favorite dish: “Fried chicken strips!”
Most memorable kitchen moment: “My most memorable moment in the kitchen is when my teacher threw my plate of food away and told me to start over because he knew I could do better.”
What it means to be a US Foods Scholar: “Being a US Foods Scholar means a lot because it opens up new doors for me and allows me to pursue my dream of becoming a chef.”
Joseph Garza was born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona, and is a first-year student at the Culinary Institute of America in New York.
Joseph’s passion for cooking was inspired by his grandmother. Starting when he was nine years old, he would regularly watch and cook alongside her in the kitchen, starting off with simple tasks and working his way up to larger meals.
Being a US Foods Scholar is helping Joseph pursue an education at one of the top culinary schools in the United States and live his personal mantra of not “working”, but instead making a living by doing what he loves.
Fun Facts about Joseph
Most memorable kitchen moment: “It’s probably one of my first cooking experiences with my grandma. A more recent one would be me and my close friend making pizza in my kitchen. Just watching him try something I enjoy doing was fun, and his reactions on the tasty end-result were even better.”
What it means to be a US Foods Scholar: “It’s another stepping stone and partnership in my life to make my dream and goals so much more real. It’s a great opportunity.”
Hobbies: “In addition to cooking, I also enjoy reading and writing.”
Diana Diaz is a freshman at Arizona State University majoring in nutrition.
Diana’s passion for the culinary arts started early, when she would cook with her Nana, and was solidified after taking a culinary class her junior year of high school.
Being a US Foods Scholar is helping Diana pursue her passion of becoming a nutritionist and making a difference in society. She wants to take the negative connotations out of “diet” by teaching others who may have dietary restrictions how to eat in a way that betters their lives, while still enjoying creative, delicious and satisfying dishes.
Fun Facts about Diana
Most memorable kitchen moment: “My most memorable moment in the kitchen was my C-CAP final competition, because of the adrenaline that I felt. You’re on a time limit and trying to make a really delicious dish that’s not only good but presentable too!”
Hobbies: “In my spare time, I play softball and soccer, and I am in leagues for both sports. I also like hiking with my partner and our nephew and niece.”
What it means to be a US Foods Scholar: “Like many other students I know, I understand what it's like to not be able to pay for college. The fact that I was given the opportunity to be a US Foods Scholar means everything because I know it will help me find success in my career, and it insipires me to give back to those who will need help in the future.”
Jackson Gilmore is a first-year human resources management student at Oregon State University and has been cooking for four years.
Jackson was inspired by his culinary teacher, Patti Pastor, to pursue a career in the culinary arts.
Being a US Foods Scholar is helping Jackson pursue his dream of owning and operating a fly fishing lodge that serves outstanding food. He also wants to be a role model for sustainability not only in the kitchen, but in how society views sourcing fish.
Fun Facts about Jackson
Favorite dish: “Baked Alaska.”
Most memorable kitchen moment: “My most memorable moment was when I was a chef at a fly fishing camp in the Alaskan bush. Each week, the float plane landed and I had to think on my feet and adapt my weekly menu from what I ordered, to what I actually received.”
What it means to be a US Foods Scholar: “Being a US Foods Scholar means everything. Without the support of US Foods, I could not go to Oregon State.”
Join US Foods® Scholars
Launch your career. Live your passion.
Jumpstart your career with the support of chefs and experts at the forefront of the food scene!
Through US Foods Scholars, we are cultivating the next generation of great culinary talent, and that journey begins with you. If you would like to apply for the program, there are two ways to qualify:
1. Post-secondary Culinary Students – Students in the first-half of their first year of a culinary arts program at one of our following partner schools are invited to apply for US Foods Scholars through our online application portal by Nov. 16, 2018 at 11:59 p.m. EST:
- International Culinary School at the Art Institute of Atlanta – Atlanta, Ga.
- Austin Community College – Austin, Tex.
- Johnson & Wales University – Denver, Col.
- Wake Technical College – Raleigh, N.C.
2. C-CAP Participants – Senior participants in the Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP) in Chicago, Arizona, or New York should NOT complete the online application. They should instead speak with their local program coordinators about how to qualify for US Foods Scholars in their region.