Audrey Priest

Corporate Management Training Program, Grand Hyatt DFW

Audrey was the first apprentice in the El Centro Chef Apprenticeship Training Program. That program provides on-the-job training that requires 6,000 hands-on hours over three years. In addition to her work in the kitchen, apprentices are required to complete an Associate of Applied Science degree at El Centro.

"I was taking five, six classes a semester because I wanted my last year to be focused just on the apprenticeship because there's a lot of stuff that went into that. We had a dinner to plan and final paperwork and tests we had to do for it. So I took the regular associate degree plan, but then there were extra classes I had to take."

Audrey finished the program in May 2018. She got accepted into the Corporate Management Training Program at the Grand Hyatt DFW, where she also completed her apprenticeship.

"I want to be able to get to the point that I can confidently say to myself that I can work in an Executive Chef position. But I don't want to stop there. Maybe to the point where I could be a GM or own a place. I want to venture out of the kitchen eventually. Because, again, all of it interests me and I don't want to confine myself to one piece because I know I'm good at that piece. And that's where you get complacent.

Audrey graduated with an Associate of Applied Science in Culinary Arts in 2018. She completed the El Centro Cef Apprenticeship Training Program in 2018. She is in the process of completing the Corporate Management Training Program at the Grand Hyatt DFW. Audrey is also planning to complete a bachelor's degree in applied arts from the University of North Texas.