Senior to Attend Cornell – for Cooking!

Ruby Li, who prepared the above dish, will be attending Cornell University in the fall through Culinary Institute of America.

Gabriella Argenio, Correspondent

Stamford High’s very own Ruby Li was admitted into and will be attending Cornell University in the fall. Unlike others who have taken the route to highly-ranked institutions, Li decided to turn her passion of cooking into a career. Cornell offers a unique opportunity where she will be able to receive a bachelor’s degree in hospitality management and an associates degree from the Culinary Institute of America (CIA), simultaneously.

“I was influenced to do hospitality management because I just really love cooking. I genuinely enjoy every part of it, yes even the dishes, and it is a huge part of my life,” Li said.

Her passion for cooking started at a young age, from when she would help her parents with their Chinese-American take-out restaurant in Stamford. This played a big impact on her wanting to further pursue cooking. Li was able to see all perspectives of maintaining a successful restaurant, from management to labor. It helped her “learn the ropes of the industry and really inspired [her] to ‘find [her] own flavor’.”

But why Cornell for cooking? Li explains that Cornell offers a great chance to network with many different people, thus helping her jump-start her career in the restaurant industry. Throughout her studies, Cornell will give Li a well-rounded education about the hospitality industry, while at the same time allow her to hone in on her culinary expertise at the CIA. 

Li has a true passion, love and drive for the culinary arts. She put it quite bluntly herself: “the freedom and creativity I have with food are unparalleled in any other aspect of my life, and my only wish is to just cook until I die”. She hopes to use the knowledge she has gained from Cornell and The Culinary Institute of America to open several restaurants. This is just the beginning for Li,  as she wants to accomplish one big thing, and that is to “literally cook [her] life away.”

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