Ana Sortun, Role Model for a Chef Career

Cambridge, Massachusetts celebrity chef Ana Sortun has the career most culinary students dream of. Sortun's Oleana Restaurant consistently draws raves as a top Boston eatery, and Sortun herself consistently garners attention and awards for her culinary inventiveness. In the spring of 2005, she was named Best Chef Northeast by the James Beard Foundation. If an executive chef career is your goal, Ana Sortun is a good role model. Here are the traits that have made her a culinary superstar:

Determination: Key to Your Chef Training

Talk about patient and persistent! At the age of seventeen, Ana Sortun took a smart, if sideways, step toward her career as a chef. In her native Seattle, she enrolled herself in the intensive study of--no, not cooking--French! Two years later, with a certificate of fluency in hand, the young chef-to-be headed to Paris to begin her training.

Curiosity: the World as Your Chef Education

In Paris, Ana Sortun received her chef training as well as her diploma in wine studies. From there, she stuck out for the kitchens of the world, growing her chef's career in France, Italy, Spain, and Turkey. Today, as a celebrity chef, Sortun continues her travels, contributing to Oldways, a non-profit think tank devoted to healthy eating through Mediterranean diet and introducing culinary tourists to the locations and pleasures of Mediterranean dining.

Individuality: Shaping Your One-of-a-Kind Career as a Chef

Ana Sortun achieved the chef's career-crowning dream, opening her own restaurant in 2001. Oleana Restaurant, praised for its flair, aptly wears its chef's full name, a name meaning "paradise." And Oleana has proved to be just this for Boston-area diners. Located in a residential Cambridge neighborhood, Oleana's menu of "unconventional" Eastern and Western Mediterranean cooking, serves such original treats as lamb and pistachio kofte and trout spanakopita with avocado taramasalata.

As you begin your culinary education and take your first steps in your career as a chef, let Ana Sortun's achievement encourage your own determination, curiosity and individuality.