Reid stirs up award-winning salsa
Many students choose NIACC because it’s close to home and affordable. NIACC freshman William Reid chose NIACC for these reasons and more.
“I chose NIACC because it is close to home, affordable and offered a program that would be essential to fulfilling my plans of becoming a chef,” he said.
But Reid’s story didn’t begin in Iowa. He actually grew up in Buffalo, New York and moved to Iowa so his wife could be closer to her mom and sister.
“We moved to Iowa because my wife’s mom and sister live here, Iowa is less expensive, there is less traffic and we envisioned a better opportunity for our family to grow and prosper here,” Reid said.
Part of the prospering stage has included Reid’s Apple Salsa recipe which placed second for Clear Lake’s Harvest Festival Best Salsa Contest.
According to Reid, there were four categories: Mild, Medium, Hot, and Etc. Reid placed second in the Etc. category for the apple salsa but also made a mango salsa and a traditional salsa.
“I decided to compete in the salsa contest because I have an avid interest in preparing, cooking and eating great food,” he said. “I was exposed to ethnically diverse cuisine growing up in Buffalo, New York and I have also traveled throughout North America, experiencing different cultures and their foods. From fresh seafood in Nova Scotia, Canada to chicken tamales in Mexico City, Mexico, I have had a wealth of experiences with delicious dishes.”
Reid, who is majoring in Hospitality/Food Service Management, said he enjoys the experiences so far at NIACC and in his chosen program.
“My favorite part of the hospitality/ food management program is being able to experiment with unfamiliar ingredients to make delectable cuisine,” he said.
Lesley Turner, a NIACC freshman and one of Reid’s teammates in his Food Production class, said Reid is a valuable asset to her learning experience.
“He brings a level of maturity to the class with a great knowledge of cooking, a great sense of humor and great patience for his teammates,” she said.
Reid said he hopes to blend his experiments with his future goals of someday owning his own restaurant.
“Eventually, I would like to work as a chef in a fine dining resort restaurant; preferably Vail or Aspen, Colorado. I am a skier and the mountains are calling,” he said. “I would also like to open a restaurant here in the Mason City area.”
First though, Reid, who said he plans to make cucumber salsa for the next competition, said he hopes to continue his education to pursue a Bachelor’s Degree in Culinary Arts Management.
“The CIA (Culinary Institute of America) has two locations; Hyde Park, New York and St. Helena, California. It has been described as the best culinary school in the world,” he said. “I probably will not go immediately after NIACC. I will most likely work around here until the time is right and then make the move.”
Before heading back to the kitchen, Reid left some advice: “Don’t be afraid to eat something you normally wouldn’t- you might be in for a pleasant surprise.”