Barbara Ender, L’Ecole Culinaire

My Name is Barbara Enders, and I am 52 years old. Two years ago, I decided I needed a career change. I am a Navy Veteran, have a CDL, have been a stay at home mom, and have been a preschool teacher. But these were no longer things that I wanted to do. I love to cook and read cookbooks and recipes. Friends told me I should go to culinary school, and I thought “right.” I was sure I would not be able to do this at such a late time in life. Boy was I wrong!

I took a tour of L’Ecole Culinaire, in St. Louis, and broke down and started crying in the middle of the tour! I had had a HUGE epiphany at that time. This is what I was meant to do! Why didn’t I listen to everyone earlier? I made my decision that day, and waited what seemed forever to hear if I was accepted or not. The day I received my acceptance letter started a new life for me. The instructors at L’Ecole are patient, understanding and demanding. They are very encouraging and want you to be, and do, your best. Not only that, but here I was, 50 yrs old, surrounded by kids as young as or younger than my children. Some had experience in the field already; this was quite a challenge for me. But I persevered, and I came out just fine.

I was given the honor of being selected to the Ambassadors, and their V.P., and at this moment, I am interning under Master Chef Anthony Stewart in Miami! To quote a song, “what a long strange trip it has been!”

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