Gustavo Quiroz, or Chef Q as some affectionately call him, is a culinary arts instructor at Singley Academy – the same school he attended and graduated from eight years ago. When deciding where to begin his teaching career, Singley was the obvious choice.
“Once I decided to start a career in the culinary industry, my goal was to return and teach at Singley,” says Quiroz. “It truly does feel like home.”
Like many students, he decided to take advantage of the Signature Studies programs Irving ISD offers to prepare students for careers post-high school. With a high interest in culinary arts already, he enrolled in the culinary program once he entered high school.
After graduating from high school, Gustavo decided to try out a few different majors in college, but his heart remained in the culinary arts field. For him, it has always been deeper than cooking or baking. Culinary arts is a form of expression and, at times, a place of refuge.
“I tend to concentrate in the kitchen whenever I’m feeling stressed,” he says. “It’s very soothing and also fun!”
Last school year’s experience for Chef Q was no different from other educators’ experiences during the pandemic. “My largest challenge was not being able to communicate with my students as much as I would have in-person,” says Quiroz. Despite this, he made sure to keep his students engaged by making learning fun and entertaining for them.
Chef Q shares the same excitement as other educators when it comes to returning to in-person learning this school year.
“I can’t wait to be back in-person with all of my students and get back to doing hands-on work in the culinary lab,” he says.
The lab is where some of his fondest moments are shared with students. “Seeing their excitement while learning and constructing something they’ve never done is wonderful,” adds Quiroz.
Each year National Culinary Arts Month is celebrated in July. To commemorate the month, chefs across the country will create new dishes and take time to acknowledge accomplishments of their peers.
“It’s great to be recognized,” says Chef Q.
For students interested in pursuing a career in culinary arts, Chef Q strongly recommends enrolling in the program and remaining consistent. “It doesn’t hurt to try,” he says. “You will learn life skills that will benefit you for the rest of your life.”
Helping to shape the next generation of culinary arts professionals is something Chef Q takes pride in as an educator. When he’s not shaping the students of Singley Academy, he enjoys bonding with his toddler in the kitchen. “Whether it’s baking or cooking with my family, it brings a smile to my face,” he adds.
If you or someone you know is interested in the culinary arts program, visit IrvingISD.net/SignatureStudies to learn more.