Days before graduation, student Marco Romeroso sits at a steel prep table in the main kitchen. Next door, his classmates are preparing for their last day of final exams. Six months ago, Marco began his journey as a student in the Professional Diploma program with a concentration in Culinary Arts at New School of Cooking. After spending most of his life working in the auto-industry, Romeroso, thirty-eight, finally decided to pursue his passion for the culinary arts.
“I always had a passion for cooking when I was growing up. I got into more of my own cooking probably about fifteen years ago,” he shares. Marco led a successful career in the auto-industry, which was his dream when he was younger. He loved the work at first, but found over time his passion for cooking became stronger. About ten years ago, he and his wife decided he would one day pursue a career in the restaurant industry when the timing was right.
One year ago, that time came. Marco quit his job and began researching schools. When he came to tour New School of Cooking, he knew it was the program for him. “I wasn’t looking for a traditional culinary school…when I looked into it, it really fit what I was looking to do. The program really fit the mold for what I was looking to accomplish in the long term.”
When discussing how he found New School of Cooking, Marco shares he almost didn’t go to school at all. But after weighing his options, he decided to get the education. “I wanted to do it correctly, and not rush. I wanted to be responsible.”
When asked about his mindset in class on day one, Marco laughs. “Prior to coming here, I thought I knew a lot for the average home cook. But on that first day, day one, just listening to chef, I slowly started realizing I didn’t know jack. At the end of the day I was just the average home cook, and I see that now.”
Marco, his wife, and a team of investors plan to open a restaurant sometime next year. He’s currently meeting with potential collaborators, and is planning a pop-up at the school in the new year. He didn’t have to look far for help- many of his classmates are already involved with the project.
Marco frequently references the support of his family and friends, especially his wife, for helping to make his dreams a reality. “Being thirty-eight years old and being in class with some twenty-something year old kids..it’s crazy…but one thing my wife and I discussed was ‘If not now, when?’. Not a single part of me thought that I couldn’t have the same passion today as I did when I was eighteen. At the end of the day, I wasn’t gonna live the rest of my life thinking what could have been. I’m just not that type of person.”
Marco’s determination and passion has been noticed by many, including his instructor Chef Casto Unson, whom Marco heavily credits for his amazing experience in the program. Marco has certainly left his mark on the New School community, and it will be fantastic to watch his career unfold in the months to come.