My name is Naomi Pomeroy, and I received an undergraduate degree in history from Lewis & Clark College in 1997. Now I’m an internationally known chef.
Sometimes people are surprised to hear that I have a degree in history and not in culinary arts. I’ve never attended a cooking class in my life! Truthfully, I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my degree, and even when I graduated, I wasn’t entirely sure what I wanted my future path to be. I studied history because I loved it.
When I first arrived at Lewis & Clark, I considered biology or political science. In my junior year, I was a participant in an overseas trip with the school to India. My father had spent some time living there as a child, and I’d always hoped I’d end up there someday.
At the end of the day, our college experiences are what we make of them. I chose one of spontaneity, adventure, and discipline, and it informs my passion and dedication to my work every day. I am so grateful that I chose to get a liberal arts education.
While in India, we were directed to complete an extensive research paper on a topic of our choice. Surprise! I chose food. I ended up staying there an additional semester, traveling and exploring, eating, and learning to cook. I fell in love with travel, with India, and with cooking, and when I came back, I began to cook obsessively as a way of stress relief. I also cooked my way into the hearts of my four college roommates.
I began working for a local catering company the following summer, and when I finished school, I had already begun to cater for my friends’ birthdays, weddings, and events on my own. In 1998, I formed my own official catering company, and I have been my own boss ever since.
My college years provided exposure to learning and adventure that I wouldn’t have had if I’d chosen another path. Both my time spent at Lewis & Clark as well as my time abroad really gave me the confidence to pursue my dreams. I never settled, and I have continued to search for perfection.
At the end of the day, our college experiences are what we make of them. I chose one of spontaneity, adventure, and discipline, and it informs my passion and dedication to my work every day. I am so grateful that I chose to get a liberal arts education. Who knows where it might lead you? It opens doors and gives a rounded sense of ease and self-confidence that anything can be achieved.