Recently our executive director, Laura Loy, conducted an interview with Jessica Keller, LAHS class of 2004, to learn what she’s up to now.
LL: Tell us what you’ve been doing since graduating LAHS. Where are you now, and what are you doing?
JK: I’m living in Sacramento CA where I’m a lead line cook at a local restaurant called OneSpeed Pizza. My husband and I moved to Sacramento two years ago to experience something other than NM. His family is originally from this area, and we came out here wanting to be closer to the Bay Area. I like it here. I was in Berkeley yesterday! I started out on the culinary path at Santa Fe Community College where I got my culinary degree. After working at a few restaurants, my mentor and teacher from my culinary program, Michelle Chavez, told me about an opportunity in Albuquerque. That was The Supper Truck that Amy Black and I started from the ground up. I ran it for about 3 years. It was a lot of cold, early mornings!
LL: How did your time at LAHS set you on your career path?
JK: I was a part of Family Career Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) for a short while and also took some of the Home Economics classes. I really fell in love with those classes. I mostly felt fortunate that they accepted and fostered the creative side of students. They want you to have a well-rounded education when you leave there.
LL: What’s one fond memory you have of your time at LAHS?
JK: I have all kinds of fond memories. In my freshman or sophomore year, we were studying medieval times and the Renaissance. My English and History teachers were dong collaborative projects. Some friends and I got together with our teachers to start a Renaissance fair. Of the students who participated, some chose art, others clothing, culture etc. I chose food of that time period (I laugh now when I look back!). We made dishes that represented that time period. We had our own Renaissance Fair in the gym. Another great memory was doing the Humanities project as a Junior. The class met every day, and we studied religions and cultures from around the world.
LL: What do you think of the new culinary arts facilities at LAHS?
JK: I have not seen them, but I’ve heard a little bit here and there. Some of my friends who still live in Los Alamos have told me about the new facilities. The Pro Start program sounds wonderful. I found culinary a little later in life. I hopped into a really great job running my truck. I know that fostering a good kitchen environment – it makes me really excited. A lot of kids start from the ground up and it’s a hard life.
Jessica, present day, with her husband Lowry Nakamura
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