By Sage Tippie
Senior Bettina Bautista has always had a passion for food. This passion set her up for the rest of her life, participating in culinary throughout high school, winning the Nevada State Culinary Prostart competition and the Epicurean scholarship, and starting her on her journey to become a professional pastry chef.
Bautista first moved from the Philippines in 2014 at the start of her freshman year. In the Philippines ovens were not common in many households where Bautista lived so she “was intrigued by the capabilities of an oven and everything [she] could possibly make with one.” Since she was young, Bautista loved to cook and was interested in the different types of food from the Philippines. She describes her connections with cooking stemming from her family life: “everyone in my family cooked and made different dishes whenever we had get-togethers.” One of her favorite memories was participating in Kamayan, wherein the family gathers around a long table filled with food on banana sleeves. Bautista especially appreciates this experience as it was “an amazing way to bond with [her] family with amazing food.”
Here, she “jumped at the chance to broaden my learnings on cooking and baking.” Bautista has been involved in culinary since her freshman year and has never looked back. Leading her team to victory this April, Bautista won the National Prostart competition: an “amazing experience” that allowed her to “not only represent Coronado, but the state of Nevada as well.”
Bautista’s love for giving back to the community is what brought her to to her involvement in Key Club, Leo Club, and Interact Club that she feels have done so much for her throughout high school. She appreciates how community service allows her to help those in need and assure that there is a future for the community. Those that “ensure that the future is bright for others” inspire her to lead and follow in their footsteps.
Bautista’s future too looks bright. After a two-month process of interviews, Bautista became a recipient of the Epicurean scholarship, which provides a full-ride scholarship for students interested in hospitality and a car provided by Nissan. She will attend the College of Southern Nevada for her first two years of college studying culinary arts and pastry making. Then, she will finish off her years of college at UNLV studying culinary under the hospitality branch. Her accomplishments guarantee Bautista work upon graduation, and she is already planning to take up a job at one of the local hotels as a pastry chef.
“It didn’t feel real when I found out I won the scholarship,” the senior said. “I’m so thankful for the opportunities and connections that the Epicurean scholarship has given me, and I can’t wait to start studying my passion.”
Remember her name, as it may end up on the cooking channel, on the cover of a best-selling cookbook, or on the list of world renowned pastry chefs. Even as her life changes, one thing will remain the same: Bettina Bautista will only continue to cook up success in her future.