Kristy Flores in her happy place.

HEAR Scholar Kristy Flores in her happy place.

HEAR Senior Kristy Flores is one of our busiest scholars, and she also happens to be studying one of the most fascinating subjects: Food Science and Nutrition. An avid and excellent chef, Kristy’s passion is to combine the science of eating with the joy of it. As a student that means an incredibly hefty workload – combining restaurant hours with exams has been a major challenge, one that Kristy has risen to beautifully. We are so, so proud of her – and of course we can’t wait to eat at Chez Kristy’s…

“Unlike my peers I have always had a very different reasoning for choosing my major. As a food science and nutrition major but also an aspiring chef I am often questioned about why I chose my major rather than simply going to culinary school. Now, as a 4th year senior at the University of Missouri, I am very happy with my choice to study food science and nutrition with an emphasis in culinary arts. It has allowed me to gain a perspective that many chefs and others in the food industry do not have.

Throughout my years at Mizzou, I have worked towards getting an education and also working in the food industry. For me that means I am not limited to just food science or just culinary arts, but rather a happy combination of the two. While my ultimate career goal is to become a chef and restauranteur, I am still intrigued and excited to learn the science around food. But what exactly does it mean to be a food science and nutrition major with an emphasis in culinary? It means my time is spent in both a lab and kitchen. This past summer my kitchen time increased drastically due to my new job as a head cook at a local restaurant here in Columbia, MO. It wasn’t until the interview for this job when I truly realized how much my time at Mizzou has taught me. Knowing how to cook is one thing but knowing the real science of food and cooking is an entirely different animal.

Going forward I hope to continue to learn more in both disciplines and to truly immerse myself into the food industry upon my graduation from Mizzou in May 2017. In addition to my love for food, as of last semester I have completed my minor in Italian. This was a hugely important personal goal for me because of my previous study abroad experiences in Italy (2011 and 2015) and the many years I dedicated to learning both the language and culture of Italy. After my last study abroad experience in the summer of 2015, during which I attended cooking classes and interned at one of Florence’s finest restaurants, I now have great clarity in not only what I want to do, but also where I want to do it.  If everything goes according to plan, after I complete my bachelor’s at Mizzou I would like to work for either a food science company based in Italy or further my culinary education by working in an Italian restaurant in either Florence or Rome. Whether I am creating a new food product in a lab or working the line at a restaurant, I know that moving to Italy would be extremely beneficial for my future and career. I hope that during my last year here at Mizzou, I am able to secure a position within the food industry that will allow me to grow and gain experience so that one day in the near future, I am able to finally call myself a chef and restaurant owner. It may not be tomorrow, but I have the confidence in knowing that my education has already begun to pay off.”

Kristy Flores, Class of 2017
Food Science and Nutrition
University of Missouri