Do What You Love: Shelly Platten, Culinary Arts
It’s never too late for a new direction.
When Shelly Platten’s youngest child went to college, she began re-evaluating her career. “I had competed in numerous national recipe contests and even won awards outside of my work as a restaurant manager,” she says. “I couldn’t, however, advance my career after a decade of experience in the food industry, so I decided to turn my passion for cooking into a career.”
At age 48, Platten enrolled in Fox Valley Tech’s Culinary Arts program with a goal of doing more of what she loves with food. “I wanted to use my skills to teach and advocate for wellness,” she states. “People are increasingly inquiring about healthier food preparation, so I began researching ways to promote fresh and fearless cooking.”
Platten knew FVTC was the right choice to find a new direction in a familiar field. “I was confident the Tech would help me earn my degree as quickly as possible while staying out of debt,” she notes. “The instructors were supportive and I got to cook in a state-of-the-art facility. The program also taught me critical business and management skills.”
A graduate of the program, Platten operates her own successful company, Healthy Chef Shell. She designs corporate wellness programs, serves as a personal chef and teaches as an adjunct instructor for FVTC. Platten encourages others, regardless of age, to improve their lives through continuous education. “Fox Valley Tech prepared me for something I love doing.”