Jillian Brochu ’17

October 17, 2022

Jillian Brochu ‘17, a Waterford, Vermont native and SJA class of 2017 graduate, turned a passion into a career. During her time at SJA, Jillian took classes in the culinary program and also competed in Skills USA for baking and pastry. Jillian was taught by Chef Jerry Prevost ‘77, Chef David Hale, and Chef Paula Churchill Bystrzycki ‘80. When asked about her favorite part about SJA, Jillian said, “I loved being a part of the culinary program. Definitely some of my favorite memories from high school came from my time in the kitchen at the Academy, like being able to travel down to New York City to serve Thanksgiving dinner at the Covenant House or the special dinners we served at the Hilltoppper Restaurant like the wild game supper where the proceeds from the dinner went towards the Streeter-Trafton Award given out at graduation.”


After leaving SJA, Jillian attended the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York. She said, “my experience at CIA was one of the coolest experiences I’ve had. I got so much hands-on learning with some of the best chefs in their respective fields, and I also got to meet big names in the culinary world like Anthony Bourdain, Thomas Keller, and Christina Tosi.” When asked if she felt prepared for CIA, Jillian said “when I came in as a freshman, I was more prepared then some of my classmates because of all I learned at the Academy through their culinary program.”


Jillian now works at Lola, an eclectic Mediterranean restaurant in Great Neck, New York, as a pastry chef. She said, “my average day is cool because it’s not the same. Some days I’m making components for the desserts on the menu or some days I’m testing out new dessert ideas I would like to put on the menu.” She also helps with planning special menus for holidays, such as Valentine’s Day or Mother’s Day, and making menus for different catering events. Jillian lives on Long Island, which she said, “has some nice perks as I’m a quick train ride into New York City, or if I want to get away from the city life, I can go east on the island and enjoy some of the really great wineries that Long Island has to offer.”


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