September 2016, Volume 20, Number 4

Cultural Spotlight

Star MCI Student Thrives in France

Patricia Falcon
Patricia Falcon is an apprentice at Le Calabash Petit Conservatoire de la Cuisine in France.

Patricia Falcon, an exemplary student at MDC’s Miami Culinary Institute (MCI), is having the opportunity of a lifetime this fall as an apprentice sous chef at Le Calabash Petit Conservatoire de la Cuisine in France. The picturesque conservatory is situated in a small French hamlet in the heart of the Indre et Loire region.

Falcon was one of 15 MDC students who traveled this summer to France and Italy as part of MCI’s study abroad program. Chefs Allison and Sidney Bond, founders of the famed Le Calabash, were so impressed with Falcon’s talent that they offered her an all-expense-paid internship including travel, room and board.

This is not the first time Falcon has been recognized for her exceptional skills. She earlier was named this year’s scholarship recipient by the prestigious Les Dames d’Escoffier of Miami, an organization of women leaders in food, wine, hospitality and farming. In addition, she has received the Mirta Penelas Scholarship, the MCI Café Scholarship and the Miami Culinary Institute Scholarship.

“I would not be in the position I am in today if it had not been for the support of my family and empowerment from my mentors,” said Falcon, who is committed to paying it forward through her work as a chef assistant for the MDC Hospitality Institute’s Apprentice Culinary Job Readiness Program, which connects Miami’s inner city residents with job opportunities in the local hospitality and tourism industry. For her work helping others, Falcon received a President’s Volunteer Service Award.

Born in Cuba, raised in the Dominican Republic and relocated to Miami in 2010, Falcon plans to graduate from MCI in 2017 and pursue a bachelor’s degree in hospitality at Cornell University. Her dream is to one day own her own event planning company and inspire future aspiring culinary students to create change by teaching at MCI.

“Through the study abroad experience led by Chef José Casals and the standard of excellence set by the Miami Culinary Institute, my culinary foundation is solid,” she said. “I have been offered such amazing opportunities through my studies, which is why MCI is the best thing that happened to me. My journey will only get better from here.”

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