From Bates Technical College to the Big Apple: Culinary student follows passion for pastry and Filipino flavor to Culinary Institute of America

Posted: April 03, 2024

Technical High School student Ben Parker will pursue pastry arts fall quarter.

Bates Technical College Culinary Arts serves up success as student Ben Parker heads to the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) in Hyde Park, New York. A passionate and dedicated culinary enthusiast, Parker will begin his journey at the CIA fall of 2024 to pursue pastry chef education.

From a young age, cooking has been more than just a hobby for Parker – it’s been a way of life. Inspired by his mother, a well-known figure in the local culinary scene, Parker’s culinary journey began at the age of 11, working alongside her at Jan Parker Cookery. Witnessing the power of food to build communities and share cultural heritage, Parker developed a deep appreciation for Filipino cuisine and a desire to showcase its rich history.

Leaving traditional high school behind to pursue his passion, Parker enrolled in the Bates Technical High School program. Now in his final quarter and completing his externship at Archipelago Restaurant in Seattle, Parker shares, “Leaving traditional high school to attend Bates allowed me to focus on what I love most. The hands-on experience and supportive environment at Bates gave me the confidence and skills to pursue further education at the Culinary Institute of America. I also had the opportunity to complete an externship at Archipelago, which has been an incredible experience sharing my love for Filipino cuisine.”

As Parker prepares for his next chapter at the CIA, he reflects on the significance of representing his culture and heritage in the culinary world. “Historically, there has been underrepresentation, and I see this as an opportunity to showcase Filipino cuisine and make a positive impact,” says Parker. “I’m particularly excited to refine my skills as a pastry chef and learn from some of the best in the industry.”

Joining him on this journey is childhood friend Adam, providing a familiar face as they embark on this new adventure together. Looking ahead, Parker remains open-minded, aspiring to become the best pastry chef he can be, with plans to contribute to his mother’s upcoming restaurant venture in Tacoma.

With his sights set on the future, Parker embraces the unknown with optimism and determination. “I’m going into things openly and without any expectations,” he shares. “With hard work, I believe good things will come.”


For further information regarding the Culinary Institute of America, please visit

To learn more about the Culinary Arts program at Bates Tech, go to or call 253.680.7000.

About Bates Technical College
Founded in 1940, Bates Technical College offers certificate and degree opportunities in 45+ career education programs. The college serves approximately 3,000 career training students and 7,000 more community members annually in extended learning, distance learning, high school, and other programs. For more information, go to, or call 253.680.7000. Bates Technical College is proudly part of the Washington state community and technical college system.