Annie Koehlinger is a well-rounded student at Illinois Virtual School, College Prep preparing for the rigors of undergraduate studies. After graduation, she hopes to pursue her Bachelor of Arts in Culinary Studies in order to work as a chef and establish her own restaurant. Her passion for the art of cooking and her desire to open up her own food-service establishment developed from a recent trip to Paris, France. A surprise gift from her parents, this trip allowed her to explore food culture in one of the most well-known cities for culinary artistry. Annie Koehlinger was struck by how the food culture was such a major part of the city’s identity.
When it comes to fine dining and exquisite cuisine, none can compare to that of traditional French food culture in the city of Paris. Visitors regularly travel to this high class society to experience some of the world’s richest delicacies crafted by top chefs. While in Paris, France Annie Koehlinger learned that to the French, food is much more than just eating. It is the art of living. French natives maintain that cooking expresses giving, while the act of eating expresses sharing. Cooking also encompasses a tradition primarily focused on promoting ethical social habits, values, and education.
Annie Koehlinger became fascinated by the array of upscale restaurants and the amount of pride residents had while enjoying their meals. She not only sampled French cuisine but also enabled her to discuss gastronomy with some of the city’s most respected chefs during her visit. She spoke with the head chefs at The Seaside Restaurant and Capella Pedregal, and also also dined at St. Catherine’s Bistro and Café Med on the Island. This trip to Paris played a major role in helping Annie Koehlinger define her interests and future goals. She hopes to continue visiting different cities around the world to sample the local cuisine and draw inspiration for her future restaurant.