Picturing a future with a Tri-C degree
December 13, 2016
Christine Rice grew up in a small farming community in Northeast Ohio, cultivating her love of food and photography through the local 4-H club.
“My father informed me that photography was an actual college major,” Rice said. “so I spent four years at Ohio University studying commercial photography. No one said anything at that point about how challenging the job market would be.”
After graduation, Rice moved to Vail, Colo. with her sister. She honed her photography skills while also working as a barista and front desk manager for a spa. “After a year and a half, I paused, took a look at my life and realized I wasn’t progressing. That’s when I moved back to Ohio to start my career.”
While Rice never intended to end up in Cleveland, but that’s where her journey took her.
“I had interned with an inspiring photographer in Chicago, Jeff Sciortino, during my college years, so Chicago was where I originally intended to go,” she said.
However, after six months back in Ohio, a friend offered Rice an interview at Kalman & Pabst Photo Group, a well-known Cleveland studio.
“I started assisting there and at a few other studios in Cleveland,” Rice said. “I met a Tri-C culinary student, Saad, and started working with a food stylist. I loved photography, but the allure of cooking and styling the food took over. It took only a few weeks for me to figure out that I could step out from behind the camera and into the kitchen. Now I am training to become a food stylist.
“The food stylists told me if I was serious, I needed to go to culinary school. I needed to learn the science of food and how it works as the basis of the job.”
Rice still had student loans to pay, so she felt going out of state to one of the bigger culinary schools was out of the question.
Rice’s next step? She enrolled in Tri-C’s Hospitality Management program, where she majors in culinary arts while still pursuing her occupation as a food stylist and photographer.
“I finally realize this is exactly what I want to do and I want to learn everything I possibly can,” she said. “All the professors and chefs working at Tri-C have real experience and have contacts all over the city. They will work hard for you if you work hard for them.
Rice will graduate this week with a degree in culinary arts and restaurant and food service management, continuing her career as a food stylist and photographer. You can visit her web site at http://chefrice.com/.
“Tri-C has changed my life,” she said. “Working as a photo assistant was fun, but working with food has truly engaged me. It is challenging and has driven me to take the next step in my life. I finally have a real 10-year plan. I know what I am working toward and have taken the steps to get there.”