Cooks of Jenks

By: Natasha Perez

The chopping of onions and heat of the stove usually runs people out of the Kitchen. But Juniors Zayan Tellez and Shane Shufeldt along with Senior Alex Qi can handle it! They’ve found their passion and are aiming for Five stars.  

These talented chefs had to start somewhere, so they began cooking out of pure curiosity. Tellez started cooking with his family.

“I was six years old when I first picked up a knife and my mom taught me how to dice carrots and ever since then, I’ve been helping her in the kitchen, cooking around with her and prepping for occasions,” says Tellez.“It brings people closer together and that’s honestly what I like the most about cooking”.  

Shufeldt found his passions another way. Like many other students, Shufeldt didn’t know what he wanted to be when he grew up. He looked into many hobbies to see if anything clicked. 

“I searched guitar playing, wrestling, never finding what I liked,” said Shufeldt. 

It wasn’t until Shufeldt came across youtube video where they recreated a famous burger from a very popular cartoon. 

“I found a Bob’s Burgers burger, which is probably my favorite show. I went and bought all the ingredients and made the most delicious thing that I’d eaten in a long time, said Shufeldt. “ Ever since then I’ve cooked dinner about three times a week. I loved it ever since.” 

For Qi, he discovered his love for cooking similarly to the famous Pixar movie, Ratatouille. It was the iconic scene where Remi mixes cheese and a singular grape together while music and color dance in the background creating flares of bright colors that sparked his interest. 

“I just liked eating a lot you know like good food and you know it’s fun to make it. It’s fun to put things together and see how it tastes,” says Qi. “See how different things go with different flavors, different spices, different textures”. 

Their love for cooking manifested into greater dreams for the future. Qi envisions his dreams more as an impressive hobby, overwhelmed by the long hours. 

I’m thinking it should be more of a side hobby. Cooking takes a lot of hours and you have a strong passion for it to be super into it. It’s a lot of work, but if you really like it pays off. It’s just not my thing but it is fun to do.”

Tellez and Shufeldt have similar dreams of opening their own restaurants. Tellez with a more patriotic take.

“After high school, I plan to enlist into the navy and in the military, they give you free education with the GI build you just have to keep a certain grade point average,” says Tellez. “I plan to go to some culinary school and becoming a certified chef. The ultimate goal is to have a small place that can help me settle down.” 

Shufeldt is more focused on the scholarly aspects when it comes to his culinary future. 

“For now, I would love to go to OSU cause I’ve heard from plenty of people that they have a really great culinary course,” says Shufeldt. “After I really would love to own my own restaurant. I wanna bring smiles to people’s faces in terms of good food and I love to make it, so two birds with one stone.”

Their drive, passion, and pure love for cooking have encouraged all of them on a  journey to learn the culinary arts. Bringing them closer to their dreams. 
If you’re interested in gaining experience for your own dream talk to your counselor about enrolling to Tulsa Tech next year. Tulsa Tech offers many education courses for lifelong learners in dozens of specialty areas. After all, I’ve heard they have a great culinary program.

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