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ALUMNI NEWS: Christian Rios

The seed for a future teaching career was planted when Christian Rios was a culinary student at Perth Amboy Magnet School.

He said he was asked by his teacher, Chef Stephen Moir, what he wanted to do with his culinary studies. Inspirerd by his experience with a number of special-needs people in his life, he began to think about teaching.

A 2009 graduate of Perth Amboy Magnet School from Carteret, he graduated from Johnson & Wales University in Providence and launched a career as a chef. He worked for nine years as a sous chef at a country club in Manalapan before becoming a culinary arts teacher at Piscataway Magnet School a year ago in December.

He said he was surprised to learn from college classmates that they had not had a good experience during their high school culinary classes.

“I wanted to change that, I wanted my students to feel, ‘I’m good at this; I can do this,’” Chef Rios said. “I’m grateful to be able to accomplish the dream that I had.”

He said he finds that his students are engaged and eager to learn.

“It’s a life-changing experience for me,” he said. “It almost doesn’t feel like a job.”

Chef Rios’ background is in Latin cuisine, but he also has experience in Indian, Mediterranean, Asian and Caribbean foods.