By Casey Feehan
A graduate of ICE's Culinary Arts program, Valerie Broussard blazed a new trail in the field of foraging when she became Starwood’s first Forager and Director of Purchasing at the W Austin. Now heading up her own consulting company, she spends her time connecting with nearby farms and ranches, bringing local ingredients from artisanal producers to a larger audience in the community. With a resume that includes positions like food stylist, recipe tester and private chef, Valerie is an inspiring example of how culinary school graduates can craft a unique path to success in the food industry.
What sparked your decision to attend culinary school?
One night, while covering a friend's coat-checking shift at the restaurant Po (this was back in the late 90's), I naively asked Chef Mario Batali how I could get behind-the-scenes work on his TV show, and he suggested I attend culinary school. So I did.