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Student Spotlight: Shelly Platten

Student Spotlight: Shelly Platten

Culinary Arts

Career Program: Culinary Arts
Age: 49
Hometown: Amherst, WI
Current Residence: Neenah
Attended FVTC: January 2015 through December 2016

Why did you choose the Culinary Arts program?

I have been involved in food service, competitive cooking, recipe development and teaching for almost 20 years. After realizing I’m a hopeless foodie who loves to share my creativity and cooking with others, there was no other program better suited for me. My life had come to a crossroads and it was time to make a move that would shape my future.

What are you learning about your career field that you find interesting or rewarding?

I’m learning that a culinary degree means so much more than just being a restaurant chef or owner. There are so many ways that food and eating touches people’s lives and the career paths are endlessly adaptable. I love being able to absorb so much experience and wisdom from our instructors and tying that into ways to make a meaningful career.

Why did you choose Fox Valley Technical College?

A top-notch facility with wonderful instructors, a well-rounded curriculum that brings in business management aspects alongside culinary technique, competitive pricing… throw in the fact that it’s located in a vibrant Fox Valley area and I was completely sold. I’ve never once regretted my decision to be a ‘non-trad’ and go to college here.

How did Fox Valley Technical College help you change your life?

My eyes have been opened to so many possibilities and ways to make a solid living doing what I love. Being a student has increased my confidence ten-fold. I’ve been given roles of leadership that have challenged and stretched me. Making wonderful friends and enjoying so many new experiences has literally changed my entire outlook.

What type of job do you expect to find after graduation?

My true passion is in healthy cooking and working with people to harness the power of good food. I plan on continuing to teach employee lunch & learn healthy cooking demos, and helping companies launch cost-saving wellness incentives in the Fox Valley area. I’ve seen the industry need for working with patients who need to drastically change their diets to repair their health. I’d love to be that connection in health care systems between food service chefs, dietitians and patients with empowering cooking classes and personal chef options. The time is now to be a trailblazer and bring healthy cooking skills to everyone.