The French Pastry School: What was your background previous to pastry, and what led you to pursue a pastry education?
Corey Holley: I grew up in a family that revolved around food. At any special occasion we were all cooking and baking. I do enjoy cooking but baking is where my heart is at. The only previous pastry experience I have was interning with a former student of The French Pastry School for 8 months before school started. Her name is Katie Geesey and she owns her own cake shop called My Girl's Cake Shop and it's located in Davenport, Iowa. Katie has been my guiding light. She is someone I look up to very much and admire. She's definitely my mentor and I feel very blessed every day to have met her and learned from her.
FPS: What has been the most surprising or eye-opening moment for you so far in the program?
CH: Just the recipes and techniques. Everything we've made I have absolutely loved.
FPS: What are your plans following graduation?
CH: I'm trying to decide if I want to stay in Chicago or move to Colorado. My lease isn't up until September so I plan on finding an internship to fill that time.
FPS: Where do you see yourself in five years? Where do you hope to be?
CH: I hope that in 5 years I will have a ton of experience under my belt. I hope I'm either working at a bakery, having made my way up the ranks a bit, or working under a great pastry chef at a restaurant or hotel. My ultimate goal is to own my own shop someday.
FPS: In the future, what will you look back on and remember most vividly about your time as a student at The French Pastry School?
CH: I will remember how inspiring the chefs were. How their passion for this industry has only made me want to accomplish all my goals. My stream is an amazing group of people and I hope we all stay in touch and keep up with what each other is doing. This has been the best thing I've ever done for myself. I feel very blessed to have been able to attend The French Pastry School in Chicago and learn from such talented chefs. I will miss them incredibly.