As a student in OTC’s Culinary Arts program, Lori Saviello has plenty on her plate.
She attends and teaches at OTC, is married with seven children and just opened a catering business — Saviello’s Sweet & Savory Catering. Her business has been selected as the preferred caterer for the Elfindale Mansion and Bed and Breakfast in Springfield.
As the owner, Saviello also has made a pledge that will allow her to give back to the college. In the future, she will offer jobs to OTC culinary students, who told her they were having trouble getting their foot through the kitchen door.
“They can’t get a job without some experience but they can’t get experience without a job. I want to give them both,” Saviello said.
Saviello said she feels the need to give back.
“OTC inspired my passion in cooking. By coming to school and learning techniques, it made me more positive of myself,” she said.
At a recent tasting event at Elfindale, OTC students served as butlers, passing out trays of food. One of those helping out was Nathan Frazo, an OTC student who won the national SkillsUSA contest in culinary arts. He wants to go to work for Saviello.
Saviello, the business’ only employee, admits starting a business is chancy. She’s “taking baby steps” early on but knows getting into the food business was inevitable.
After watching her mother and grandmother cook for years, Saviello went to work in fast food at age 16 and stayed for 12 years. She swore then that she wouldn’t cook again.
“But working with food was so deep inside me, I had to cook. Cooking is an art and the plate is my palate,” said Saviello, who eventually enrolled at OTC.
“If I didn’t come to OTC, I don’t think I would have been involved in food.”
Steve Koehler is coordinator of media relations at Ozarks Technical Community College.
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