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We Are Dallas College: Tairan Lockett

Last updated on February 16, 2024

Your journey into culinary arts is fascinating. Can you share your story leading up to where you are today? 

Growing up, my mom always burned the bacon. So, it all started with a challenge from my mom to cook breakfast when I was just 7 years old and said I think I can do it better than her, and I just did it. Since then, I’ve been on a journey to express myself through food, exploring different avenues to become a chef. The turning point was discovering my love for the science of cooking, leading me to Dallas College and beyond. Now I want to be a food research chef. I love to learn the ‘why’ behind food.

Your curiosity about the ‘why’ in food is inspiring. Where does this desire to understand the intricacies come from?

It stems from the realization that I’ll never know everything. The constant pursuit of understanding why things work the way they do intrigues me. Embracing the mentality of not knowing everything opens a world of possibilities to learn and grow.

What’s the most interesting discovery you’ve made in your culinary journey? 

Barbecue sauce! I love barbecue sauces so much, but I hate ketchup, which is used in barbecue sauce sometimes. I wanted to understand why that was. Tasting different variations of barbecue sauce opened my eyes to the diverse flavors and ingredients. Realizing there’s no perfect version, only countless ways to enhance and experiment, has been a revelation in my culinary adventures.

During your time at Dallas College, is there one person who has had the most significant impact on you, and if so, who is that person? 

Sheila Hyde, the department chair of Culinary, has been a major mentor for me. I knew her from high school, and she remembered me when I joined Dallas College. That made me feel like this was real. Her impact on my life has been profound, and she continues to guide me through challenges.

What is one of your main goals, and how are we helping you to get there? 

A main goal is to emphasize that there are always alternative options for food, and Dallas College has provided me with a platform to learn about health science and food hospitality management. This dual education equips me not only with culinary skills but also with the ability to market and provide healthy food options in a personalized manner.

You’ve been cooking for a long time. Is there one dish that’s your favorite to cook or your go-to when cooking for someone for the first time?  

Pizza is my go-to dish. It’s the most versatile food. Anything can be a topping, except for pineapple… I love that I can make something new every time I make pizza. My favorite is called ‘The Murphy Special’ named after the Domino’s driver that came up with it. He got a small pizza dough and stretched it out to a medium, so it was really thin and crispy, then added barbecue sauce, habanero sauce, then spinach, then cheese, pepperoni, roasted red peppers, and it was the best pizza I’ve ever had.

End the pineapple on pizza debate. 

When you eat a pineapple pizza, the pineapple is so acidic that it causes the toppings to slide off the pizza and all you taste is the pineapple. It doesn’t balance out on pizza. It also dries out when cooked in the oven which causes the juice to spread everywhere on the pizza. But that’s just my opinion.

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Published inCampus LifeStudent Success StoryUncategorizedWhy Dallas College?