Pastry Chef Instructor Chrystie Wojcik can be credited for the delicious desserts from ECC’s culinary classes since 2010. Wojcik can credit her start to where she now instructs; her first ECC experience began as a culinary program student.
“I started out at ECC as a student in the culinary arts program in 1998. I had always loved to cook and bake, and ECC seemed like it was the best fit for what I was interested in,” said Wojcik.
After graduating from ECC’s culinary program, Wojcik went on to work at the happiest place on earth; Disney World! “I worked as a cook at the Grand Floridian. They used to have a culinary apprenticeship program, and I was lucky enough to be chosen as one of 14 participants in the program,” said Wojcik.
Read on to hear what other passions and interests are cooking in Wojcik's life. To learn more about ECC’s Culinary Arts & Hospitality program, visit https://elgin.edu/academics/departments/culinary-arts-hospitality/.
In your words, what do you do at ECC? What do you want others to know about your job? Or what would help others understand your job? I teach the pastry classes as well as the kitchen techniques and ServSafe Manager certification course. I have the best job because the things that the students make in the pastry classes smell wonderful and look too beautiful to eat!
What is your greatest accomplishment since you’ve been at ECC? Achieving both my bachelor’s and master’s degrees while teaching would be my greatest accomplishment while working at ECC. I fully appreciate the stresses and struggles of homework along with my students and how it is worthwhile in the end when you achieve your goals.
If you could instantly be an expert in one thing, what would you choose? Technology. I will admit that I have turned to my son for help in a few areas this past year to help navigate the online world of teaching and learning.
What do you enjoy doing outside of work (i.e., hobbies/interests)? I enjoy traveling and spending time with my family. Our favorite destinations include Walt Disney World, St. Louis, Washington Island, and Colorado.
Where is the best place you’ve traveled? ECC introduced me to Austria. I had the privilege of participating in the study abroad program in Austria as a student and twice as an instructor. Those memories and experiences are something I will treasure forever.
You have to wear a t-shirt with just one word on it for an entire year. What would that word be, and why? It’s a Mickey Mouse t-shirt. Honestly, most of my t-shirts are Disney in one way or another.
Share a fact about you that might surprise people to learn. I love going fishing. We always have fishing poles in the car.
What job have you held (besides ECC) that was the most fun, interesting, or difficult? Explain why. I worked for Disney from 1998-2000, working as a cook at the Grand Floridian. They used to have a culinary apprenticeship program in Walt Disney World, Florida, and I was lucky enough to be chosen as one of 14 participants in the program. Besides that, I have been a cook, baker, lead baker, and pastry chef for a variety of hotels, resorts, and restaurants throughout my career.
What was your most valuable life lesson? Things can get hard while you are pursuing your dreams and goals. Don’t let anyone stand in your way or drag you down from what you want to achieve. If it was easy, everyone would do it.
Complete this sentence: “I enjoy working at ECC because …" I get to go to work every day and see the students grow from being unsure where to go on their first day to giving out their completion medals on graduation day, and no one has better tasting homework on campus than the culinary and pastry students.