Dustin Christean

Dustin ChristeanThere's a lot of heart in the culinary arts. Sure, fresh ingredients and a mastery of techniques make a dish sing, but there's something to be said for sheer commitment and determination. And that's been Dustin Christean's recipe for success.

"I just focus on doing the best that I can, every day," he says. Originally from Grants Pass, Christean found an immediate connection with COCC when he went looking for a culinary program. "Right when I first toured here, it just felt like, 'Man, this is where I want to be,'" he says. "And not just because this is a beautiful facility. I really felt comfortable with the staff, everyone that I met is just super-friendly. It's made moving away from my hometown a lot easier."

A recipient of the Julian Darwin Scholarship, Christean was also chosen as one of two students to represent COCC on the 2017 All-Oregon Academic Team. Additionally, he was a member of the student culinary team that brought home a Silver Award from the 2017 American Culinary Federation's Western Regional Competition, the best placing the school has had to date.

Being a dedicated single parent to two sons, and a cook at 900 Wall in Bend, he credits his family and friends for being a vital support system while earning his degree. And as he readies to officially launch his professional culinary career, he is fully appreciative of the training and one-on-one time with his instructors. "Everything I've been through...I'd totally do it again in a heartbeat."