Greg Lee isn’t really your typical college senior. In between working as a dishwasher at 14 and introducing his UNLV career 15 years later on, Lee handled to consume his way across Spain, mix mixed drinks in Australia, and brew saké in Japan. He even took a break from the kitchen area to climb up Mount Kilimanjaro to raise money for education in Africa.
And though Lee’s pressing curiosity about the world has immeasurably enriched his culinary education, he always wanted to land the sort of formal education that makes for effective entrepreneurs.
” My imaginative side was currently there, but I required instructions on how to run an effective service,” states Lee, who prepares to one day own a Spanish restaurant.
Finding His Path
At UNLV, Lee discovered an opportunity to master the nuts and bolts of the dining establishment organisation while pleasing his appetite for out-of-the-ordinary knowing experiences.So when the chance arose to work alongside 50 top local chefs at UNLV’s long-standing wine and food celebration, UNLVino, Lee was all in.
” It’s going to be a great time,” states Lee through a smile that rarely leaves the California local’s face.
This year’s “50 restaurants, 50 unique pairings” theme (a nod to the College of Hospitality’s 50th anniversary) is in ideal action with Lee’s long-lasting career plans.
” My objective is to operate at the world’s finest restaurants,” he says, “and by working UNLVino with some of the very best chefs on the planet, I’m one big step closer to that objective.”
In addition to providing support to getting involved restaurants, Lee and the other UNLVino management groups get hands-on experience developing menu items for the event’s food stations, handling volunteers, dealing with place set-up and marketing, and managing the annual silent auction. Proceeds from the occasion go to money scholastic scholarships for UNLV hospitality students.
Taking a trip the Globe
Like some other nontraditional hospitality trainees, Lee brings a depth of market savvy to the classroom– although Lee’s history reads more like something from a book. After earning an expert culinary arts certificate, he prepared at various hotspots around Los Angeles and after that for Wolfgang Puck in Las Vegas prior to triggering on an 18-month culinary adventure all over the world.
“I had many fantastic chances,” says Lee. “I cooked at the Blanche Bar in Australia, I got to compose cocktail menus for Drai’s club in China and Skyla in Broome, Australia, and was sponsored to go to south Japan to find out how to make saké at the famous Dassai factory.”
He confesses that pertaining to college as an experienced hospitality expert has its benefits. For something, he was available in with the understanding that there are no shortcuts in business– a truth, he says, that irritates a few of his classmates.
“Everyone wants to leap straight into management and move into the market; however they quickly recognize, book smarts will not provide the self-confidence you need to lead– not without experience.”
In keeping with that guidance, Lee remains immersed in the industry, investing most days in class and the majority of nights handling the dining establishment Off the Strip. He further divides his time functioning as president of UNLV’s Beverage Management Club and watching Bellagio food & & beverage executive Dominique Bertolone as part of the college’s industry coach program.
Just recently, Lee was able to explore his other passion– wine making– when the college sent him and a handful of other hospitality trainees on a four-day wine workshop in Napa Valley, courtesy of Trinchero Wineries.
“I have had big dreams ever since I was young, but UNLV has actually pressed me to wishing to end up being the very best that I can be,” says Lee. “I barely sleep, however I like every moment of it and don’t see myself decreasing at any time soon.”