Chris Williams, 30, is a baking & pastry student at Washburne Culinary and Hospitality Institute. He grew up in Bronzeville and attended Richards Career Academy, where he unintentionally fell into a cooking class and ended up winning a culinary competition.

After graduating high school, Chris worked at various restaurants as his passion for cooking and the culinary arts started to blossom. He spent time in kitchens at the Walnut Room and BIN 36 and even traveled to Spain to learn about how molecular gastronomy can inform cooking.

But Chris felt he couldn’t really see his career take off until he received some academic training. Enter Washburne Culinary at Kennedy-King College, which is part of City Colleges of Chicago. Chris, who currently works at the Streeterville Whole Foods as a cake maker, enrolled in the baking and pastry program and is set to graduate with his associate degree in the spring of 2020.

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