My name is Jacob Degiuli, and I was born in Bakersfield, California. We lived there for the first few years of my life, and then moved to Arizona the July before I began 2nd grade. Since then, we’ve lived here in Arizona- but never in the same place for too long. We’ve lived in Glendale, Phoenix, Chandler, and Peoria. In each of those cities has been something different for us, new skills to learn and opportunities to grow from.
Because of having moved around, I’ve been blessed to meet so many new and exciting people. I’ve learned skills that I never could have if I’d stayed in one place- photography, leadership, being a theatre tech, as well as public speaking- all are now beloved pastimes, that I’ve had the chance to take and make a part of myself.
There have been three different high schools I’ve gone to; Paradise Valley High School, Perry High School, and Raymond S. Kellis. All have had their own unique things for me to learn there, and apply into my life. I took my first culinary class while at Paradise Valley High School.
The culinary arts have interested me since I was little. I would always want to help mom do things around the kitchen, and it would start with small things like pouring ingredients into the bowl for mom to mix. I was given more difficult things to do as I got older- scrambling eggs, flipping pancakes, even reaching into the oven to put things in, or take things out! All of this excited me.
This field has been one that’s interested me throughout all of my different ideas to do- at some point or another I wanted to be a zoologist, a Sign Language interpreter, or an author. All of these have appealed to me in the past, as well as cooking- but while those other career interests have come and gone, cooking has remained a staple in my life.
I would always volunteer to be a cook while camping, and that could be with my family, or with any of the Boy Scout troops I’ve been with. Today I’m the boy leader of a troop here in Phoenix, and I’ve been given multiple chances to take those cooking skills I’ve learned and use them in the more challenging environment of outdoor cooking. While outside, I’ve had to take care with everything I’ve done; There’s no spare water to wash things off with, and sometimes I’ve had to improvise- no spatula to use for pancakes? Flip it with the pan!
I’ve been excited for the chance to take different, random ingredients, and make them something of my own. I look forward to the chance to do this soon. I’m not in the last of the four culinary classes my school offers, and it’s been quite the adventure. I have learned so many different skills from the class that I’d never thought of before. Take the example of how you cut some things with a chef’s knife. You never leave contact with the board, and you move your arms in a circular motion, almost like a locomotive. I know that’s proven to be a valuable time saver of a skill I’ve learned/
Lastly, I want to thank Mrs. Nadzieja, my teacher. Youv’e taught me so much.