Taylor Dulaney, a senior in culinary food science, spent the spring 2017 semester at Walt Disney World, working as an intern alongside chefs from all over the world. Submitted photo
Taylor Dulaney, a senior in culinary food science, spent the spring 2017 semester at Walt Disney World, working as an intern alongside chefs from all over the world. Submitted photo

Experiencing the other side of Disney

Growing up, Taylor Dulaney and her family took annual trips to Walt Disney World in Florida. So when it came time for her to find an internship, it was no surprise her dream was to become a Disney intern.

Dulaney, a senior in culinary food science, spent the spring 2017 semester taking part in the Disney Culinary Program at Walt Disney World in Florida.

She had a bit of luck, or magic, on her side when it came to applying for and obtaining the internship. She came across Disney’s culinary internship program during the final week applications could be submitted. After turning it in, within a matter of weeks she had two interviews and was accepted into the program.

Dulaney was placed at Disney’s Port Orleans Resort - French Quarter, where she worked in a food court setting serving New Orleans-type food. While there, she had the chance to take part in a variety of culinary tasks while working at the grill, pasta station and pizza delivery station. She said doing pizza deliveries was her favorite because it kept her busy.

Though she had no previous experience working in a kitchen, Dulaney said the chefs were great to work with and willing to help her learn. One of her goals while at Disney was to improve her knife skills. When the chefs learned of her goal, they always would assign her the task of chopping vegetables or meat needed to prepare a dish.

“I feel more confident in the kitchen,” Dulaney said following her completion of the internship. “You can learn about it in class, but when you actually do it, it makes so much more sense.”

She also spent some time working at Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground, which offered a different experience. The food prepared and served there was of higher quality than the food court-style dishes served at the French Quarter location.

“I got to experience so many things and see how chefs from all over the world do things,” Dulaney said.

When she wasn’t busy working, Dulaney and a fellow Iowa State student, who also was interning at Walt Disney World, got to spend time at the resort, getting behind-the-scenes looks at various places. A favorite of Dulaney’s was a tour of the Disney food lab, where new recipes are made and tested before being placed on the menus at the various eatery locations.

She encourages other culinary food science students to consider applying for the Disney Culinary Program. It helped her understand what it’s like to work in a fast-paced kitchen setting.

“It’s a really good opportunity for anyone to get out of Iowa and the area,” Dulaney said.

Upon completion of her undergraduate degree, Dulaney plans to further her education before pursuing a professional career. She’d like to obtain a position working in a food lab where she can create food, instead of just making it.

CONTACTS

Taylor Dulaney, senior, culinary food science, tdulaney@iastate.edu

Whitney Sager, communications coordinator, Department of Food Science & Human Nutrition, 515-294-9166, wjsager@iastate.edu

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