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Do you have a favorite restaurant?

If you do, you likely order the same dish every time. Because you know it will be delicious.

What you might not have considered is that you actually have a favorite chef. After all, a delicious meal is only possible thanks to a talented cook.

One of those talented cooks is right here at Primavera! Rachael Litwiller is an aspiring culinary artist with a gift. In fact, she recently won a major culinary competition through  Careers through Culinary Arts Programs (CCAP). Learn more about her below!

The Story of Rachael Litwiller 

Rachel is a dedicated student with a driven dream: to become a famous culinary chef. She has loved to cook as long as she can remember.

“I fell in love with cooking the first time I tried. I think my favorite thing about culinary arts is that it allows you to be creative in ways you didn’t even think possible,” said Rachael.

Rachael joined Primavera in the 16-17 school year in order to graduate early. Through a lot of hard work, Rachael was able to finish high school a semester early with a 4.0 GPA.

“I knew that I wanted to graduate early and also wanted to attend the Culinary Arts program at EVIT during the day, so I decided to do Primavera,” said Rachael. “Because I was able to graduate early, I was given the opportunity to complete EVIT (a two-year program) in a year. Had I not graduated early I would not have been able to complete the program in the short amount of time.”

Rachael entered the CCAP cooking competition and was one of two EVIT students to make it to the finals. She ended up winning the entire competition and won a full-ride scholarship to a Johnson and Wales culinary school of her choice.

“The competition was so much fun and I met a lot of different people throughout. I think the best part about the competition was getting to know people that had the same passions as you.

“Only two people from EVIT, including myself, made it to the finals where we were asked to present Hunter’s Chicken with a mushroom and tomato sauce and potatoes, as well as chocolate crepes. We had a limited amount of space as well as a time limit of two hours. There was a lot of preparation and commitment put into the competition but I wouldn’t have traded it for anything. I had dreamed of culinary school for years but never believed that it would be a possibility due to the costs of the school; however, CCAP made that dream come true.”

Rachael was thrilled to win the competition. Doing so has allowed her to afford culinary school, and opens up a lot more doors, as Rachael stated.

“The best way I can describe the feeling of knowing I can attend culinary school is blessed,” said Rachael. “There are so many things that just fell into place, EVIT and Primavera being two of them. Had any one of these opportunities not worked out I don’t think I would have been able to attend culinary school and I am beyond grateful for the people who have supported me through this.”

Rachael is working as a cook for Clever Koi. Although she has not yet decided, she is thinking of attending school in Denver.

“The campus I am considering is Denver, Colorado and I recently discovered a restaurant there called the SAME (So All May Eat) Cafe whose mission is to serve everyone in the community, and I hope that one day I am able to do the same thing,” said Rachael. “After that, I hope to use the knowledge and information learned from Johnson and Wales to start my own business (and/or food truck!).”

For anyone considering attending the East Valley Institute of Technology (EVIT), Rachael has one piece of advice: go for it!

“DO IT! I love EVIT and think my life would be very different had I not attended. The environment, students, and instructors have been incredible, not only through the competition but in between as well. Since I did attend EVIT it was easier for me to work on Primavera schoolwork there, and any time I would need assistance, a teacher was there. I think the most important thing to tell a student considering EVIT is to just go for it because if you decided it is not for you, you can move on but you won’t know unless you try!” – Rachael Litwiller, graduate

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