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Campus News / News

Andrew Pollock’s Rockford University education was the perfect recipe for his success.

09/22/2020 5:18 pm

Photo of Andrew Pollock demonstration his culinary skillsBased in Los Angeles, Andrew works as chef and kitchen manager for Tasty, an online food network and recipe database. It might seem like a distant career for this former musical theater major, but the skills he learned in Rockford are helping him thrive today.

“It’s prepared me to work in a creative environment,” Andrew said. “A lot of my job is to take a baseline idea and move it into a final product.”

Take, for example, the time Andrew was charged with putting together a set. Because of his stage production class at Rockford University, he knew exactly what to do and how to function in a production setting.

Photo of Andrew Pollock With Grover & Elmo

Likewise, Andrew’s training in front of an audience helped him feel more comfortable speaking on camera or to celebrities – both of which are part of his job today.

“Rockford University helped me become a better communicator, a better on-camera personality and gave me better public speaking skills,” he said.

Andrew first came to Rockford University in 2007, attracted by the small campus and family atmosphere. He was impressed that teachers truly seemed invested in his future career.

“It was the campus I was looking for,” Andrew said. “I like close-knit communities. This was close to Chicago, which was great for auditions, but it also had a family-like atmosphere.”

For several years after graduating in 2011, Andrew worked in theater – both in Illinois and then in New York City. But he also began restaurant work to make ends meet while in New York, and soon found himself with a second passion.

“It got to the point where I wasn’t really auditioning because I was busy trying to perfect a French omelette,” he said.

So when Andrew decided to move to Los Angeles with his wife, also an actress, it seemed the perfect time to pursue culinary school. He found the perfect blend of his skills at Tasty, where he creates recipes and food videos.

Often, Andrew works as culinary support for the producers who film the videos. But with the Covid-19 pandemic this year, more video production began happening from home, and Andrew found himself tapping into his theater skills once again.

Today, he is both developing recipes and appearing on-camera to demonstrate them. It’s a blend of passions that Andrew didn’t see coming but is grateful to have prepared for.

“The kind of mentorship I got from each Rockford University professor in the theater department gave me the confidence to be someone who could go out and be successful,” Andrew said. “It made me a stronger professional and a better person.”