Gabriella Chrapek or Gabby as we know her, really likes to bake. In fact, she likes to bake so much that her BSBP (Bureau of Services for Blind People) Career Counselor Jereme connected her to Kitchen Sage last spring. What most people don’t know though is that Gabby is visually impaired which would lead many to wonder if working in a kitchen is possible? Gabby’s determination would prove otherwise.
Gabby started the training at Kitchen Sage in April of 2022. Her training involved helping prep for the preschoolers’ meals each day for a few hours. In the afternoons she worked with Revive & Thrive, which expanded her knowledge of scratch based organic & allergen cooking. Her training at Kitchen Sage then led to a paid work experience with a local baker.
“I worked in a bakery before but just washed dishes. I liked it when I started working at One Sweet World in October. I was able to actually make different bake goods.” Gabby now makes carrot and apple crumb cake for store customers. She also recently made tiramisu for a local restaurant client. She sees baking as a long-term profession. In fact later in February she will be starting the Secchia Institute for Culinary Art at GRCC for its baking and pastry certification program.
“I really liked working alongside Chef Karen at Kitchen Sage. She allowed me to figure out what I can and cannot do which really helped me to work independently.”
Chef Karen commented: “Gabby was the first visually impaired student I’ve worked with in the kitchen. I have learned so much from her. During our time together we focused on Gabby’s goals and what skills I could teach Gabby along with creating & using adaptive equipment that makes it possible for her to work in a kitchen. Her determination to succeed is what I will remember most about our time together.”
You can meet Gabby at this year’s Taste the West Side. She will be bringing her bake goods to the event, hosting the desert station from One Sweet World. She is also one of the recipients of the Alumni Excellence Award.