Hector Torres returned to the Community Colleges of Spokane with a vision: opening his own restaurant. While he had learned many skills working in the food industry, he knew that he’d have a better shot at achieving his dream with a technical education and network of talented chefs and teachers. The culinary arts were always a passion of Hector’s, so when he researched his options, he looked for a strong program, one that graduated chefs respected locally and across the nation. That’s exactly what he found with SCC’s Inland Northwest Culinary Academy.
And so, years after starting school at our Colville extension center, earning his Running Start credits at SCC, and starting a family, Hector turned his attention towards achieving his dream and returning to school. In order to succeed, however, Hector would need some help. The INCA program is, as he put it, a full-time job. It’s an immersive program that leads to eight hour days, a time commitment Hector would usually have spent working to support his family.
Remaining focused on his vision, Hector applied for scholarships funded by the Foundation and was awarded the Boiardi Culinary Arts Scholarship for the 2017- 2018 school year. This scholarship allowed Hector to afford travel to and from campus and supplemented the change in his paycheck after he joined the INCA program. In other words, this scholarship allowed Hector to focus on achieving the dream of opening his own restaurant.
As he enters his second year at SCC, Hector hopes to learn from the network of chefs available to him through the program, graduate at the end of the year, and, within two years, open a Cuban restaurant right here in our community. He talked about how Spokane is a great place for new restaurants that focus on serving good, healthy food to their neighbors, and he’s excited to be a part of that local industry.