Reynolds Culinary Student Profile:
Meet LaKia Davis
What motivated you to study culinary arts?
I've always had a passion for creating little snacks and desserts. Growing up I always made the holiday desserts and birthday cakes. That was way before Pinterest and Social Media, so I would take ideas from magazines and recipe books. In recent years, I started picking this back up as a hobby and a few years ago I said I can could do this permanently, lol.
Where are you in your culinary studies?
I am a 2nd year study under Culinary Arts. I will be taking my Capstone this summer and eligible for graduation after that, but in the fall I will pick up Culinary Management and finish Pastry Arts as well. The convenient part of this program is that there is a bulk of classes all culinary fields have to take which makes it easier to finish another degree at the same time.
What are you working on now?
Right now I am in International Cuisine. Just finished American Regional a few weeks ago. My other class is Menu Management which I am currently working on our business plan project that includes creating, resourcing and projecting a full dinner menu.
What is your favorite task as a culinary student?
My favorite task as a student, lol, would be cryovac'ing our leftover product. I like using the machine and seeing the different shapes the items result in when the air has been removed. Also, it is way better than having to do the dishes and having to take out the trash.
What is your favorite ingredient?
PASTA! I love it when we get to make fresh pasta because you can incorporate into many different dishes as well has styles and ingredients.
Do you have a “signature dish”?
Actually I have a "signature" dish my group member, Trevor and I came up with. It's called the "Blueberry Smash". It came about when we had to do Blueberry Pie and we left too much juice. Even though it congealed when it was cut it was just a mess. So instead of serving it like that, we smashed the pie up and served it as a cobbler. Two weeks later we had to do a Blueberry Cobbler. In the process of class, we forgot to make the dough. Soooooo, we revisited our original idea with frozen pie crust, crumbled it like a cobbler and made it again. Totally awesome. Our class loved it.
What would you most like to do in culinary arts when you graduate?
My ultimate goal is to open up a lunch/dinner counter named after my Grandma, "Shirley's". Currently, I'm using the business as well as culinary skills I've learned to offer traditional desserts, homemade jams and jellies as well as small batch dog treats.
What is your favorite restaurant in Richmond?
My favorite places in Richmond would be Mom's Siam II, Buz N Ned's and Proper Pie Co. I think that's a perfect mix of the food diversity Richmond has to offer.
What would you tell other potential students interested in studying culinary arts at Reynolds?
It's a wonderful program to start with regardless of if you've just discovered culinary arts or you've actually worked in the industry. It's a great opportunity to understand culinary arts and get the background you need to decide whether you want to go into catering, pastry arts, management, banquet or become a world famous executive Chef.