Like most of us with a passion for the kitchen, Lashandra Robinson attributes her love for cooking to the days when she was her mom’s little kitchen helper who stirred the pot when they were preparing beans and rice. Robinson worked her way from her kitchen at home to local restaurants including the Jackson Brewery Bistro Bar to the kitchens of The International Culinary Center (formerly The French Culinary Institute) in New York, where she is currently a student on a Chefs Move!
The John Besh & Bride Mayor scholarship, an initiative of The John Besh Foundation.
Having worked at a popular, fast-food chain since 2006, the Nunez Culinary Program student and 23 year-old, single mom of four and five year-old girls was no stranger to the time and energy demands of food service work, but was determined to continue her education. "Education was the way I could continue to work in an industry I enjoyed and
improve my earning power so I could make myself and the lives of my daughters better,” said Robinson.
Robinson left for New York in July on the scholarship which has the mission to diversify kitchen leadership by providing minority applicants the opportunity to train up and become leaders in restaurant kitchens and in their communities.
The John Besh & Bride Mayor Scholarship is followed by a two-month internship with the Besh Restaurant Group. After the internship, Chefs Move! graduates stay and work in New Orleans for at least two years so that their advanced culinary skills benefit the local area. "We hope that our graduates will want to continue working in NOLA for at least five years after the program so that they may become leaders in the kitchen and leaders in the community,” said Emery Whalen, executive director of The John Besh Foundation.
In addition to full tuition to the 9-month culinary program at The International Culinary Center, Lashandra Robinson received the following: