Student Stories: Patrice Meyer

Patrice Meyer

Major: Culinary Arts

Patrice Meyer has been passionate about cooking her entire life.

Scholarships at COD

“My grandparents were a huge influence,” she said. “I spent a ton of time as a child with them, and a lot of that time was spent in the kitchen. Learning how to cook from them are some of my favorite memories. Their instruction also influenced me in wanting to teach others to cook.”

As a mom with two children, Meyer wanted to find a culinary program that was local and affordable, which led her to College of DuPage. She also knew it had one of the best programs in the area. 

After starting in the Culinary Arts program, Meyer knew she made the right decision. She also received the James C. Kohler Memorial Scholarship and won the Testa Cooking Competition Scholarship, both offered through the COD Foundation.

“The Testa Competition was amazing! The experience was so fun and unlike anything I had done in the past,” she said. “We were able to create two dishes—one salad and one entrée, whatever we wanted. Peter Testa, his executive chef and another judge chose the winner. To say I was shocked to win is an understatement.”

Meyer also worked as a student at the program’s Culinary Market. After earning her Associate in Applied Science degree in Culinary Arts and an Associate in General Studies degree, she was offered the opportunity to run the market by Laura Lerdal, the Culinary Market and lab coordinator.

I view Laura (Lerdal) and Professor David Kramer as mentors and, to this day, still go to them with questions.

Patrice Meyer

“I began to work closely with her and my previous instructors, who had become coworkers,” she said. “I began to view Laura and Professor David Kramer as mentors and, to this day, still go to them with questions. If it weren’t for them, I would not be where I am today. They gave me the courage to accept the job at Blackberry Market.”

She is the culinary director at Blackberry Market in downtown Glen Ellyn, where she oversees the production of all menu item components—including condiments, soups, salads and baked goods—that are sent to their stores.

“Currently, our central kitchen—my home base—is creating product for our two locations and soon to be four locations. I am still very active at COD helping with events occasionally and judging competitions or contemporary finals. Blackberry Market has supported over 40 interns from COD’s program as well as employing over 10 previous COD students. I love the relationship we have created between Blackberry and the Culinary Arts program.”

Meyer highly recommends that students interested in a culinary career attend COD.

“The College has one of the best culinary programs in the region, and maybe even the nation. You will have some of the best experiences, and the connections you make will be lifetime connections.”

Learn more about the Culinary Arts program at College of DuPage