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Dream Big + Challenge Yourself: Career Advice from Jen Welper '06

Jennifer Welper’s interest in culinary nutrition was sparked by a tragic event: The death of her beloved grandfather. “I was raised on a dairy farm in Minnesota,” the 180th Distinguished Visiting Chef (DVC) told the packed auditorium full of culinary students, many of them on the culinary nutrition/dietetics track. “Meat and potatoes country. My grandfather was only 68, and he died of complications from diabetes and heart failure. Once I arrived at Johnson & Wales, it was a revelation to learn that these diseases are preventable through proper nutrition.”

Talking Inspiration, Influences + Tomato Pie with Lindsay Autry '04

“The more you cook, the more you go back to your roots.” Lindsay Autry '04 is back at JWU for a very important reason — she is taking part in a JWU Epicurean Society demonstration and reception to support student scholarships — and she is sharing her signature recipe for tomato pie, a dish that harks back to her childhood in North Carolina, with the invited guests.

Mixing Music + Wine with Master Sommelier Serafin Alvarado

As one of only 149 Master Sommeliers in North America, Serafin Alvarado has turned his passion for wine into a remarkable career, including stints at the late Charlie Trotter’s namesake restaurant and his current position as Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits’ director of wine education. Recently, Alvarado brought his informal and informative teaching style to JWU’s Providence Campus as the College of Culinary Arts’ 4th Distinguished Visiting Master Sommelier.

Celebrating #Canada150 with ‘Chopped’ Champion Trevor Ritchie

“Can anyone name any Canadian dishes?” Canadian “Chopped” champion Trevor Ritchie recently visited JWU Denver to discuss and demonstrate Canadian culinary flair. When students came back with a resounding answer of “poutine,” Chef Ritchie — chef-technologist at Toronto’s George Brown College — took the opportunity to spark a conversation about the meaning of “authentic” native cuisine.

Heart, Soul + Passionfruit: Expert Chocolatier Melissa Coppel Visits JWU

“I feel like I do what I want — and that is really a good thing and really a bad thing.” JWU Providence’s 179th Distinguished Visiting Chef Melissa Coppel is describing to a packed auditorium of rapt baking & pastry students the ways that doing what you love has its rewards as well as its drawbacks: “If you are critical of the world, you must also be critical of yourself, and be willing to dig deep.”