Elena Zeng

What does happiness tastes like to you?
Grilled Chinese dumplings / Steamed bao with pork / Hot croissant on Sunday morning
Those are three things that really warm my heart.


What is your background?
I have always wanted to study cuisine, I tried to start in high school but my parents did not allow me. When I finished my studies at 19, realising that I had been spending most of my spare time in the kitchen, I decided what I wanted to do in my life. I looked online and I found that ALMA was among the best cooking schools worldwide, plus it was the closest to my house, some of the success stories on the website and the employment rate of the graduates convinced also my parents. We went to the Open Day and as soon as I entered in one of the professional kitchens I felt immediately at home.


Tell us about your ALMA experience.
I started with the Cooking Techniques Course, after that I did an internship in ALMA assisting the teaching chefs and then I started my Advanced Course of Italian Cuisine. Not knowing exactly how this job works at the beginning was not easy, however, due to one of my classmates I got better and better because she helped me to improve my method and organization while I was teaching her my precision. I was a hectic but amazing period, where I grew significantly from both the personal and professional point of view.


After the Italian Culinary Program, you faced the internship period.
After the Course, I did my internship at Miramonti l’Altro, two Michelin stars restaurant in Lombardy. I had the opportunity to work in a professional restaurant kitchen, learning from my chef de partie how to improve my speed and organization, because only if you prepare the line perfectly the service will be smooth. My experience was that great that I will always be thankful to them for their contribution to my growth, so important that I passed my final exam in ALMA with 92/100!


What is your best moment in ALMA?
When I did the final exam the classmate I was talking about before was astonished by how fast I got in working with fresh pasta. For me it was incredibly satisfying because I had another tangible proof of my progresses, of the fact that enrolling to ALMA was the perfect choice.


What are your future projects?
At the moment I am completely focused on ALMA, after that more experiences in restaurant kitchens will come. However, what intrigues me the most since I am 21 is travelling, discovering more places and tasting more flavours!

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