Amidst the hustle and bustle hidden away behind the closed doors that seem to swallow the wait staff, an artist is at work sculpting the perfect dish for your taste buds. Behind every plate of food served at a restaurant there is an artist.
Culinary artist, Justin Klink, a Longview sophomore, expresses himself through his style and with food creations. Not stopping at culinary arts, he also has fundamental knowledge of food science.
“Justin was an excellent student,” said Kat Jackson, KC culinary arts director. “He is hard-working, dependable, and very talented.”
Klink, the middle of three boys, credits his mother with sparking an interest in cooking which lead him to take culinary arts in high school.
During his time at Hallsville High School Klink’s cooking teacher inspired him to learn more than the basics. Taking every opportunity to learn, he toured several restaurants and a country clubs to get a feel of what working and running a restaurant takes.
“Whatever I do, I like to take it to the next level,” Klink said.
While studying culinary arts at KC, he expanded his interest into international cuisine where he created fish soup during a mock restaurant demonstration. At the end of each semester the culinary arts students host a dinner and showcase what they have learned
“You don’t have to cook or own your own restaurant to be in this business,” Klink said.
Currently he is working on his Associates of Applied Science Degree, and has the of goal travelling while working for a high ranking chef.
“His calm and quiet demeanor is refreshing in the chaotic environment of a kitchen,” Jackson said.
While hosting the mock restaurant Klink had to set up the course, manage classmates, test recipes and serve 30 guests which included his instructors and KC Dean Julie Fowler. During this dinner Klink prepared a three course meal consisting of creamy chicken cutlets on a bed of rice and mushrooms.
“His fish soup was delicious,” Jackson said. “But, if I had to choose one dish for Justin to make for myself it would be his chocolate mousse and pistachio biscotti. I still dream about that dessert.”