SKYCTC student honored with culinary arts award | SKYCTC

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SKYCTC student honored with culinary arts award

Glasgow resident Sean Matos has always dreamed of becoming a chef, but between work and caring for his wife and three children, that dream hasn’t always felt within reach.

By AARON MUDD amudd@bgdailynews.com

Glasgow resident Sean Matos has always dreamed of becoming a chef, but between work and caring for his wife and three children, that dream hasn’t always felt within reach.

But after starting as a culinary arts student at Southcentral Kentucky Community and Technical College in the fall – and recently earning recognition as the Kentucky American Culinary Federation student of the year – that’s changing. The ACF’s Kentucky chapter Bourbon Country Chefs, which is based in Louisville, awarded Matos with the honor.

“This is quite the honor considering students from secondary and postsecondary technical programs are considered from the entire state,” said chef Dan Thomas, the organization’s treasurer.

The honor also enables Matos to compete at the ACF regional level to represent the region at the ACF national competition for the national Student Chef of the Year award, Thomas said.

Matos, who is Puerto Rican, doesn’t often get to taste the island’s cuisine close to home. Long term, Matos said he’d like to start a food truck to test the waters and see if there’s a local market for his culture’s food. He’s thought of calling the food truck El Sueño – Spanish for “The Dream.”

“You can kind of test it out. How would this work in this town? And, if it was a miss, then how would it work in this town?” he said.

Matos’ toughest critic is his 11-year-old son, who doesn’t pull punches when his dad tries to expand his taste in food.

“He tried tomato soup that I made,” Matos said, adding it was a big hit at work. “I was like ‘Try it and see what you think,’ and he told me it tasted like Chef Boyardee sauce.”

Like many families, the coronavirus pandemic has made life complicated for Matos and his wife, who recently became a licensed practical nurse and works in a nursing home.

Just five months into SKYCTC’s culinary arts program, however, Matos is already making strides. In October, he was named the program’s student of the month, and he was then nominated by his instructors for the ACF award.

Matos said the recognition was a pleasant surprise, especially less than a year into SKYCTC’s culinary arts program.

“I’m glad that they can see the potential in me,” Matos said.

– Follow education reporter Aaron Mudd on Twitter @NewsByAaron or visit bgdailynews.com.