SBCC Culinary Arts student uses food to bring people together

Peter+Wolfgram%2C+a+City+College+culinary+arts+student%2C+demonstrates+the+correct+method+of+preparing+watermelon%2C+Thursday%2C+Oct.+8%2C+in+Campus+Center+Building+Room+CC108+in+the+School+of+Culinary+Arts.
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SBCC Culinary Arts student uses food to bring people together

Peter Wolfgram, a City College culinary arts student, demonstrates the correct method of preparing watermelon, Thursday, Oct. 8, in Campus Center Building Room CC108 in the School of Culinary Arts.

Peter Wolfgram, a City College culinary arts student, demonstrates the correct method of preparing watermelon, Thursday, Oct. 8, in Campus Center Building Room CC108 in the School of Culinary Arts.

Robert Smith

Peter Wolfgram, a City College culinary arts student, demonstrates the correct method of preparing watermelon, Thursday, Oct. 8, in Campus Center Building Room CC108 in the School of Culinary Arts.

Robert Smith

Robert Smith

Peter Wolfgram, a City College culinary arts student, demonstrates the correct method of preparing watermelon, Thursday, Oct. 8, in Campus Center Building Room CC108 in the School of Culinary Arts.

KARMEN KODIA, Channels Staff

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A knife, a cutting board and some simple ingredients are the only things needed to do his favorite dish: sandwiches.

Peter Wolfgram, a final year student at City College began his career in culinary arts when he only was ten years old. He fell in love with food and its culture and at that young age, he started his journey with a positive mind-set to one day teach high school students how to cook.

“I want to open up the opportunity for them,” Wolfgram said. “Not everyone has to be a doctor to succeed in life.”

Wolfgram grew up in Camarillo and decided to improve his culinary skills at City College. He did not have the easiest childhood, growing up in a Christian family with an epileptic mother who was not able to cook for the family.

“I think it shaped me,” Wolfgram said. “Definitely emotionally, I deal with trauma through laughter and joy. But sometimes it isn’t the best way to handle trauma.”

The drugs that his mother was taking to suppress her seizures made her very tired, making her unable cook and do most house chores.

“One way I could help my family out was by making dinner,” Wolfgram said. “But I never made anything good. I didn’t know what food was back then. That’s where I got the idea that I could be a cook.”

With help from his grandmother, Wolfgram’s first dish was pasta and sauce.

Peter Wolfgram, final year culinary arts student, demonstrates the correct way to cut vegetables to avoid injury, Thursday, Oct. 8, in Campus Center Building Room CC108 in the School of Culinary Arts in Santa Barbara.

Robert Smith
Peter Wolfgram, final year culinary arts student, demonstrates the correct way to cut vegetables to avoid injury, Thursday, Oct. 8, in Campus Center Building Room CC108 in the School of Culinary Arts in Santa Barbara.

To get a break from cooking and chores at home, Wolfgram said he did what every teenager does to blow off a little steam such as vandalism, thieving and causing destruction on people’s properties.

“We never needed drugs or alcohol to make things exciting,” Wolfgram said.

Today Wolfgram loves outdoor activities and exploring nature, especially with his bike.

“It makes me feel free,” Wolfgram said. “I don’t have to worry about gas or insurance.”

Four-inch visible scars on the back of his neck and throat will always remind him of this past summer, when his bike nearly killed him, only a few days before the departure to France with the culinary arts program.

“He broke his neck and still went to France,” student Pierre-Alexandre Tremblay said.

Tremblay said he has never met a person more adventurous and life loving than Wolfgram.

“Have you ever seen the Dos Equis commercials?” Tremblay said comparing Wolfgram to “the most interesting man on earth.” “Peter Wolfgram is the grandson of that man. He is just the greatest man alive.”

One of the best decisions he had made was to enroll in City College’s culinary arts program.

“He is incredibly curious and he has great energy,” chef Charlie Fredericks said. “So he’s curious, intellectual and energetic which are the ideal traits in students.”

The small group of students and positive energy that they share makes the students feel like a family. It’s the people around him that motivate him the most.

“I like food a lot because it brings people together,” Wolfgram said.

Wolfgram hopes to one day have a big family and a giant circle of friends.

“I look forward to growing old with my friends and doing all the crazy stuff we did as kids but as old people,” Wolfgram said.

 

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