By Emma Stone
After graduating from Ruston High School Class of ’21, Abbey Warren took her culinary skills to Nicholls State University where she hones her craft at baking.
“I knew from my freshman year that I wanted to go to Nicholls,” said Warren. “I’ve always been into baking as a kid. Once, I got cookie dough from the school to sell, and I baked it. I went around my neighborhood selling it and made about $100 that weekend.”
Warren said this was when her love for baking really grew.
“I was hooked after that,” said Warren.
During her time at Nicholls, she has taken normal classes like English and history with four-hour culinary classes each week.
This summer, she completed nearly 540 hours at Biltmore Estates, North Carolina, as part of an internship.
The first half of the internship was spent at Deerpark restaurant where Warren worked next to her manager to prepare pastries or baked goods for banquets and events.
“It could be anywhere from five people to 500 that we were making desserts for,” said Warren. “It was very challenging.”
Warren would have shifts going from as late as midnight to seven in the morning the next day.
For her second half of the internship, she began working at The Bistro restaurant which had a much more rushed atmosphere.
“I would work prep two days a week, then work line three days a week,” said Warren. “It takes a lot of patience, but it’s a lot of fun.”
Warren has had past experience this past spring; she worked at Berckman’s Palace for the Master’s Golf Tournament in Augusta, Georgia.
“It’s one of the only golf tournaments that never moves,” said Warren. “Berckman’s Palace is the VIP restaurant. I worked in commissary prep, so chopping foods.”
Her first three days were eight-hour shifts and the last seven days were 12-to-14-hour days.
“That one was rough, but my internship was a really good learning opportunity,” said Warren.
Warren starts back at Nicholls today, where she will be taking classes on cooking Cajun creole.
“I learned a lot about myself, how I work and who I work best with in different management styles,” said Warren. “I’ve gained a lot of confidence in the kitchen and it was a good use of my summer.”