Hometown: Lorain, Ohio
Representing the United States at WorldSkills in Cooking
Julia Spondike’s love for all things cooking stems from her grandmother’s legacy. “I loved hearing of my grandmas and great grandmas always being in the kitchen. My dad’s stories made my heart leap out of my chest with compassion and interest for the world of food.”
Fascinated and inspired, Julia enrolled in the Lorain County Joint Vocational School culinary arts program as a junior and has never looked back.
After high school, Julia applied to The Culinary Institute of America (CIA)—a dream of hers—and got accepted with a full tuition scholarship.
“Now I know I can make a difference in food service through my education and my competition experiences. I hope to share my life and journeys with the people I encounter, encouraging young culinarians to strive for their dreams like I did mine.”
Julia’s current goal is to graduate from The Culinary Institute of America with a bachelor’s degree in Culinary Science. Not seeing her career being limited to only restaurants, she hopes to excel in foodservice and take on leadership positions in her field.
“Knowing how vast the culinary industry is, and how many people are impacted by it – the future is exciting to think about. The sky’s the limit!”
On SkillsUSA’s role:
“I have been involved with SkillsUSA for three years. Being affiliated with the organization has opened so many doors for my education, professional relationships, and future career. I have gained a competitive edge to my personality by participating in Ohio state and National Skills Conference culinary competitions. Competing with SkillsUSA has also better prepared me to succeed in the culinary field.”
What she loves most about her skill:
“I love food! I like being involved in such a diverse field with anything from a private chef to a foodservice director for 100+ hotels. Even though the business is massive, it really is a small family.”
Her advice to someone wanting to train in her craft:
“Be dedicated. Strive to do your best in everything you do – whether that be school, work, family life, or training, do it well. Hard work pays off. My coach always said that if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.”