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Issue #246 – Apprentices in Action

Weekly Newsletter

by Liya Swift

Apprentices in Action

A Day in the Life of Our Students


Recording Connection student Cati Sesana

Congrats to Recording Connection for Advanced Audio Engineering & Music Production student Cati Sesana on earning her first audio mixing credit on a killer track! Her mentor Don Zientara of Inner Ear Studio gave her tips on how to stay organized and provided notes on a few drafts of the mix but the heavy lifting was all her own. Cati wrote in to tell us how she landed the gig:   “Back in April I got linked up with Michael Stettes (who is a member of the band) after I posted on a Facebook group for musicians in DC…Michael reached out and said he had his recordings mostly done but would need someone to do the mixing, so I sent him material from other musicians I had worked on and he was pleased…The session had a lot of tracks so it was a bit intimidating but once I organized them and was able to get to work it was smooth sailing.   I received the files on September 13, and the song was released on September 26. I sent him 3 drafts total and would make adjustments to what he wanted so he could have a product he would be happy with. It was a lot of fun. I really enjoy the song…Overall it was a great experience.”Listen to the track here.   Connect with Cati on Instagram.      

CASA grad Justin Zhao (center), Chef Iñaki Aizpitarte (right) & Sous Chef Antonio

Recent CASA Schools Gourmet Chef program graduate Justin Zhao, who trained with Executive Chef/Owner Jeremy Blaringhem of Bouche San Francisco, learned firsthand how going the distance can pay off better than he could have imagined.   When Gervais Maillard in Career Services extended an invite to Justin, asking him if he wanted to volunteer to work the 3 day Lexus All-Star Chef Classic in Los Angeles, Justin said yes even though doing so meant he’d have to fly into Los Angeles from the Bay Area, put himself up in a hotel, and work some very, very long days.   During the jam-packed culinary festival, featuring dining experiences led by many of the world’s most renowned chefs, Justin was able to use his smarts and newfound culinary skills to his advantage. By the time the event was over, Parisian chef, Iñaki Aizpitarte was calling him by name and having him oversee other volunteers on the line, Chef de Cuisine Holly Jivin of L.A.’s Bazaar by José Andrés had offered him a job, as had an executive with Wolfgang Puck Catering.   Justin also found himself working with one of his personal heroes, Chef Tim Hollingsworth, formerly of The French Laundry and now at his own highly acclaimed Otium in Los Angeles. What came next had him on cloud nine:   “It was a surreal moment to be right next to him, working for him…Then the day was over and they asked me where I was working. I was like, ‘I work at a very small French place in SF.’ And he said, ‘Oh, well we’re opening in SF, in Union Square during New Year’s.’ And I was like, ‘Oh, really?’ And they were like, ‘Yeah, we’d like to hire you if you’re interested.’…   This was totally worth the trip and coming down here and flying over…I was doing almost 14 hours a day. It was tough. It was painful but the whole journey, the whole experience. Learning everything and being able to work for these amazing chefs, was totally worth it… It’s been very eye-opening, and this has really given me a huge confidence boost.” We’ll have the full scoop in an upcoming issue of the newsletter, (so subscribe)!    

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