Haley Jeansonne

Senior Follows Father’s Footsteps Through Culinary School


Courtesy of Haley Jeansonne

Haley Jeansonne will be attending culinary school in New York.

Esha Nigudkar, Contributing Writer

They say the way into a person’s heart is through their stomach, and there couldn’t be a more true statement made today. People create new connections over a bite, reconcile with partners at dinner, and strengthen friendships all while munching on some snacks. Yet for senior Haley Jeansonne, culinary arts has provided more than just satisfied patrons. It has forged a connection to the past and a stepping stone into the future.

“My dad passed away when I was seven and the way that I dealt with his loss was by cooking,” Jeansonne said. “I would just get in the kitchen and start making food.”

Before passing, Jeansonne’s father owned his own seafood restaurant in Louisiana that was known for its delicious creole food. Initially beginning as a means of comfort, Jeansonne continued to pursue culinary, with her father’s passion soon becoming her own.

“The summer before my sophomore year I spent two weeks in New York City at a culinary camp by myself,” Jeansonne said. “That’s when I decided I wanted to continue in culinary.”

For the past two years, Jeansonne has been a part of the Culinary Arts program at the Miller Career and Technology Center. Learning the essentials to the program, she has explored the preparation behind many different cuisines, competed in the National ProStart Invitationals, and most importantly, discovered herself as a chef. 

“It’s taught me more about myself and how I function in a kitchen,” Jeansonne said, “We have a student run restaurant and it’s been an amazing experience to actually work in a restaurant before I go to culinary school.”

Thanks to the time spent in the program, Jeansonne will be attending culinary school in New York. Following her years spent at the institute, Jeansonne plans to pursue gastronomy, the art between food and culture.

“I’m going to The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York,” Jeansonne said. “It’s renowned for birthing wonderful chefs like Anthony Boursin, Duff Goldman, Anne Burrell, and many more. I was actually at a culinary competition, and when they called, I broke down and was just super happy.”

Although far from Katy, Jeansonne is excited to be living in New York and has already formed some friendships to follow her into college. 

“I expect the college to be a lot of work, but also a lot of really good experiences,” Jeansonne said. “I’m also looking forward to the snow, I’ve never experienced it before so I’m probably most excited about that.”