LWE Alum Makes Her Mark on Culinary Scene

Caitlyn Drzyzga, a 2020 graduate of Lincoln-Way East, is making her mark on the culinary scene. She was named the 2023 American Culinary Federation National Student Chef after competing at the highest level in the national student championships. 

Drzyzga attends school at Joliet Junior College (JJC) in their culinary school, where she has been a standout student and hard worker. While she was always drawn to the kitchen and loved cooking at home, it was not until she toured JJC and participated in their ‘Chef for a Day’ program that she knew she wanted to make it her career. 

Chef Michael McGreal, department chair for the Culinary Arts Management Department at JJC, said, “We were so impressed with her drive and determination during her first year, that we asked her if she would like to compete and represent JJC in the national student championshipsCaitlyn not only accepted this challenge, but spent countless hours practicing and refining her techniques, her recipes, and the amazing dishes she prepared for the panel of master chef judges.” 

About receiving the title of 2023 American Culinary Federation National Student Chef, Drzyzga said, “Receiving this award was so incredible. Not only did it make the countless hours of work worth it, but it validated that this is what I should be doing. I learned so much in the process and I am so grateful for the opportunity that I got to compete.” 

Drzyzga said she would like to continue her education beyond the culinary program, and eventually take business classes in order to open her own restaurant one day. In the meantime, she will continue learning how to make incredible food!