Watch Allen's story

Meet Allen Nguyen

  • Chefs and Head Cooks

  • Delgado Culinary Apprenticeship

  • New Orleans

Before he even considered cooking as a career, Allen wasn’t even in Louisiana. But when his father fell sick he decided to come back to New Orleans for good. In between caring for his father and working, Allen found the kitchen was his sanctuary. Over time, it became his greatest source of happiness, and that’s when he knew he’d found his calling.

As part of the “Katrina Class” affected by the hurricane, Allen’s path was a bit daunting — he was one of only 6 people who graduated on time. However, in pursuing an accelerated version of the Delgado Culinary Apprenticeship program, he was able to land a gig in the culinary field. After just 2 years of study, he walked away a certified Culinarian with an Associate degree. Financially, things worked out pretty well for Allen. Between classes being offered for free in the wake of Katrina, his application to some scholarships and a couple of loans, he was able to finance his education.

That was 13 years ago and his debt is long, long gone.

What once started out as a way to take care of himself has grown into a full fledged business that he’s very passionate about. And while owning his own restaurant is high-risk, high-reward, he wouldn’t have it any other way.

If you want to follow in Allen’s footsteps, finding your calling in the power of cooking is easier than you think. Chef programs similar to Allen’s often cost between $3,763 and $11,113 on average. By graduation, you could enjoy entry level averaging $22,000 - $46,000.

Career info

$21,820 - $39,444


  • Art, Design, and Creativity

    Art, Design, and Creativity

  • Problem Solving

    Problem Solving

  • Physical and Hands-on Work

    Physical and Hands-on Work

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