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Jane Chatham

Jane Chatham poses in front of her kitchen at Vicia

Jane Chatham

Title: Chef de Cuisine, Vicia

STLCC Program: Culinary Arts

Years Attended: 2013–2015

From line cook to chef de cuisine, Jane has worked her way up to team leader. She thanks her education at STLCC for instilling in her the skills needed to take that first step into the kitchen with confidence. Now, she's transforming the next generation by passing down what she's learned from her mentors and time spent in the culinary world.

Q&A with Jane

Q: What degree did you earn at STLCC? 

A: I took a few ESL classes when I first started at STLCC, and then I graduated with an associate degree in applied science in culinary arts and hospitality.

Q: What are you doing career-wise now, and what does your position entail? 

A: I am Chef de Cuisine at Vicia in midtown St. Louis. I’m relatively new to the position and still learning a lot from my culinary director. I manage the kitchen with the day-to-day agenda and do most of the ordering for the kitchen. With the guidance of my bosses, I create the restaurant's menu and make changes as needed.

Q: What is your favorite thing about your current role? 

A: I get to teach new chefs everything I learned from my mentors. I also enjoy creating amazing food and pushing boundaries on what makes a dish. I want our customers to feel special when they dine here and smile from the joy of eating our food.

Q: How did your life journey lead you to where you are today?

A: 14 years ago, I immigrated to this country from the Philippines and didn't know what I wanted to do. I was lonely and missing home, but I found love and serenity in cooking. It fills my soul when I see people enjoying the food I grew up with, but I wanted to learn different cuisines. I attended STLCC's culinary program to learn all the basics of the American restaurant. After graduating, I was one of the first crew members hired at Vicia and started as a line cook. Since then, I've worked my way up in the kitchen to where I am now, leading the crew.

Q: How would you say your chosen career path is “transforming” the community?

A: The St. Louis food scene is the most supportive community I've been a part of, and I oversee a tiny part of what makes it known throughout the country. I'm very proud of the team that I have today. This career is also a tool to support local farmers and other small businesses. I also donate my time to cater a private dinner supporting the "Refuse to Lose" Mike Kelley Foundation. 

Q: What led you to take classes at STLCC? 

A: I chose STLCC because it was convenient and had a lot of great reviews. When I finished the program at STLCC, I had the advantage of going to work in a restaurant with confidence. 

Q: How did STLCC support and prepare you for where you are today? 

A: Before I took classes at STLCC, I had some knowledge of the basics from my mom but no experience making American foods or working in commercial restaurants. The College helped me learn all the fundamentals of cooking. 

Q: What was your favorite thing about attending STLCC?

A: The capstone project that occurs during the last semester. It was amazing because we got the chance to create and run the whole restaurant, from meal planning to cooking and serving customers, under the guidance of Chef Rob Hertel. 

Q: Do you have a memorable class or professor you’d like to shout out? 

A: The most memorable moment I remember was when Chef Brian Hardy taught us how to butcher a chicken and a hog. I use that knowledge frequently in the Vicia kitchen.

Q: What advice would you give someone considering your career path?

A: Trust the process! Making mistakes along the way is good as long as you learn from them. It might take you a while to master your craft, but having that patience and trust will get you where you want to be in life. 

Q: What would you say to students considering community college? 

A: If you are considering STLCC, please utilize all the campus offerings, from academic advising to the cafeteria. The community there is like a large family that will support and help you every step of the way.


Explore Culinary Arts at STLCC

Learn more than just the art of cooking. Graduate with the necessary techniques and knowledge to prepare basic or advanced dishes and become a leader in the food service industry.

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