Meet Chef Elana Hernandez

Driving to COD 90 minutes a day, Elana is inspired to become a pastry chef and own her own business after her Fall 2022 graduation.

Inspired by her fondest memories of times spent baking with her Grandma Cookie, COD Culinary student Elana Hernandez left her secure job as a healthcare provider to go back to school to become a pastry chef and one day own her own business.

“I’ve always loved baking pastries and cakes,” she shares. “Baking with my grandmother during the holidays was incredible. We would make everything imaginable, and we loved seeing how happy it made everyone. So, one day it dawned on me: I can nurture people just as well with my food.”

Hernandez transferred to COD because she saw the thriving hospitality environment in the Valley. Traveling over 90-minutes one way from Brawley for classes each day, her dessert obsession has progressed to developing her own company and owning a sweet food truck. She shared this dream during a chance encounter with a local city council member who strongly encouraged the idea. She was touched by his enthusiasm and confidence in her vision and is now planning out the details to make her dream a reality.

“I thought going back to school in my forties might be challenging, but everyone here works together and supports one another,” she adds. “COD has been the best move for me because the chefs here are incredibly talented and have impressive backgrounds. We are going to school in the mecca of restaurants, and we have great chances at successful careers because of what we have learned here.”

Share This Story, Choose Your Platform!