Destini Ramirez is an aspiring vegan chef and plant-based nutritionist. The culinary arts student at Atlanta Technical College is the very first student to be enrolled in the Hyatt Regency Atlanta Apprenticeship.
“I’ve always loved food. The colors, the smells, the shapes, most important, the enticing flavors. I’ve been vegan for the past two years, so I really want to focus on elevating plant-based meals into creative, vibrant works of art on a plate,” she explains.
Here, Ramirez shares her college experience.
Do you believe that you can love what you do and make money doing it?
I am truly a believer, that you get what you put out, into this world. I honestly feel if a person just wants to make a buck, [they aren’t] living and they probably aren’t happy or fulfilled. I tell myself, do what keeps me intrigued, excited and the money does not matter.
What challenge excites you the most in your life right now?
Right now, my big challenge, I would have to say is having patience. Patience, patience, patience! I can’t say it enough. I am currently entering the pastry shop at the Hyatt Regency, and it is a real test of my faith. I say this because every ingredient must be exact, or you have to start all over. And, that doesn’t sit well with food costs.
What impact do you want to have on other people’s lives or in the world?
After I’ve completed my degree in culinary arts, I plan on also getting my degree in plant-based nutrition. I really want to teach not just my family, also other families that feel as though they can not afford to eat healthily, how to eat healthily and prepare meals for their families.
Do you feel confident that you are exceptional at something?
I am an exceptional learner. When given a task or an algorithm I carefully and strategically keep myself and my workstation extremely organized. I feel as though when I am prepping for a dish, I must have a harmonious flow.
What do you see yourself doing five years from now?
In five years, I plan on being an executive culinarian. I want to have opened my vegan fine dining restaurant, and have it get five Michelin Stars. I want my name everywhere as the greatest vegan chef. I also plan on starting up my nutrition outreach and take it global. I want to have my first child during all this. I just want to conquer the world and rejuvenate everything and everyone.
How would you describe yourself?
I would describe myself as bubbly, humble, honest, outgoing, highly excitable, friendly, outspoken, blunt, caring, loving and nurturing, reliable, soulful, appreciative, responsible, knowledgeable, and somewhat funny.
How do you think a friend or professor who knows you well would describe you?
My instructor, chef Tieaka Blocker, would probably describe me as a bit of a troublemaker. But in a good way. She is always on my case to better myself and focus. She’s like a second mama to the class. She gives us way too much knowledge and I highly respect her. At the Hyatt, chef Thomas McKeown would most likely say that I am a “good girl,” honest and very talkative but a hard worker.
How do you determine or evaluate success?
Success to me means always being able to learn new things, try new flavors, travel the world with my husband and be happily married.
Why did you select your college or university?
I chose to go to Atlanta Technical College, for many reasons. The college has come along way, and just recently celebrated 50 years in education. The college has had a great effect on the community as well, giving back, helping with several organizations and helping us students broaden our horizons. By adding new and exciting programs and technology the dean wants to ensure us to learn and grow.
What college subjects did you like least? Why?
I absolutely, positively dread college algebra. It makes no sense to me. My best subject was always psychology, human anatomy and home economics.