Sophomore Grayson Selzer ‘cooks up’ his future career by securing his place in the culinary world

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Sophomore Grayson Selzer ‘cooks up’ his future career by securing his place in the culinary world

Dakota Gates - Staff Writer, Harris Federman - Photographer

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Since the age of four, sophomore Grayson Selzer has had a talent for cooking. When he was young, Selzer began cooking with his father who taught him a great deal of what he knows today. After showing his own independent interest, he signed up for a cooking class to learn how to prepare simple meals. This initiated his love for cooking and he still remains very passionate about culinary arts today.

While Selzer does not actively keep up with many cooking shows, he often enjoys watching Hell’s Kitchen. He idolizes the cooking abilities of chef’s such as Grant Achatz, Thomas Keller and Terrance Brennan. Watching their work inspires Selzer to try cooking new and interesting dishes. Selzer’s family always looks forward to indulging in his lovely cuisine. Seeing his family members’ faces light up when they try his food is what he describes as an amazing feeling and what inspires him to continue his training to become a professional.

“My all time favorite thing to cook has not changed since I first began cooking (crepes),” said Selzer. “I love making the thin French pancakes and filling them however I please. Whether it be whipped cream and fruit or ham and cheese, crepes go with everything.”

Keeping his skills sharp, Selzer aims to make time in his busy schedule to cook at least twice a week. He found a great interest in making German Pancakes, intended to be very thick and fluffy. Selzer describes the compote as sweet with a complementary texture and suggests topping the pancakes with an apple berry compote and whipped cream. Nevertheless, German pancakes taste amazing with any topping.

While Selzer has not participated in any cooking competitions, he does take Culinary Arts at CHS. The class has been an opportunity for Selzer to learn many new techniques as well as polish many skills he already possesses. Students have learned a wide variety of skills, from learning how to cook an egg to preparing dishes as elaborate as chicken marsala over mashed potatoes with green neans. Whether it be simple or complex, Selzer takes what he learns in class and applies it to his cooking at home. Even making simpler dishes like sauteing vegetables or making toast has helped to broaden Selzer’s cooking abilities immensely.

“I have learned so many great things from Culinary Arts,” said Selzer. “I even made the creamy potato soup for my family. They loved it! I cannot wait for future years in the program to expand my knowledge and experience for the art of cooking.”

As of now, Selzer has a job working at a elegant American restaurant in Calabasas called Salt. The job teaches Selzer the basics of how to act in a formal setting and how the front of house works in a restaurant. He enjoys every moment working there and enjoys learning about the industry with hands-on experience.

“My goals for cooking would be to open up a restaurant in a lush semi-populated area,” said Selzer. “I will have it be a rustic restaurant with a French/Italian cuisine.”

He dreams to have his own, semi-formal restaurant in a town like Calabasas with a scenic environment. When customers look out the window, he hopes for them to see beautiful hills and greenery. Inspired by Thomas Keller’s restaurant called French Laundry, his building will be old-timey and rustic, with an open interior that features stone accents. Outside his future restaurant, he plans to have huge garden where he would grow most of the vegetables used in his dishes.

Already, Selzer has achieved many of the goals, steering him in the right direction. As he plans to take on a job within the culinary field, Selzer aspires to attend a cooking college in Napa. If he puts in hard work and dedication, Selzer believes his dream to be a chef will come true. Until then, Selzer plans on continuing to practice and build upon his skills.