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Taste America Scholar: Nora Jones, California

JBF Editors

September 02, 2016

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We caught up with Nora Jones, winner of a 2015 JBF Taste America scholarship, after she completed her first year of culinary school. Thanks to the scholarship, Jones reports she is completely debt-free. We’ll be visiting her hometown of San Francisco for our Taste America event on November 4.

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JBF: What does it mean to you to be a JBF Taste America scholarship recipient?

Nora Jones: To be a scholarship recipient of the Taste America Scholarship has been such an honor. Not only has it helped to reduce school costs, but it also has allowed me to complete my first year of school completely debt-free. I feel very fortunate to be a part of the James Beard Foundation and hope that I can give back in some way.

JBF: Describe your ideal culinary career. Where do you see yourself in ten years?

NJ: After completing my schooling, traveling, and experiencing more work in the pastry field, I hope to one day own my own bakery and pastry shop. I’m still young and want to learn and experience as much as I can before committing to something. Ten years from now is still far away for me, so I don’t have a definite plan of where I will be or exactly what I will be doing!

JBF: What is something you love to cook for your family and/or friends?

NJ: Growing up in a household where cooked meals, fresh baked bread, and homemade desserts were made, I always enjoyed helping my mom in the kitchen. My passion is baking and my favorite thing to bake is cakes. I love seeing people’s reactions, whether it’s a birthday cake for a neighbor, a cake for a dinner party, or just a cake to enjoy with my family. All cakes I bake are made from scratch. Sometimes I try to be creative with and decorate the cakes, and others I leave just plain and simple—either way they are enjoyed!

JBF: What are the top things you’ve learned in culinary school?

NJ: While I’ve only completed one year of school, I have worked in the industry for about two years, and through that I have learned that the most important thing is to have fun in the kitchen and make work an environment you look forward to going to every day. Working clean, efficiently, precisely, and consistently will help result in a high-quality product. Seeing people enjoy those products is very rewarding.

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The James Beard Foundation is proud to donate a portion of all JBF Taste America 2016 events to the James Beard Foundation's Taste America® Scholarship Fund. From April 1 through May 15, 2017, local culinary students are invited to apply through jamesbeard.org.