Jill Bosich ’93 Named 2009 Distinguished Alumni of the Year
Jill Bosich ’93 is the owner/chef of Cowgirl Cookie Co., a Culinary Olympic champion and an educator.
BY JESSICA WYLAND
Jill Bosich believes in the good old-fashioned philosophy that honesty and quality should come first. The 1993 alumna infuses this notion into her work as chef/owner of Cowgirl Cookie Co. based in Newport Beach and as chef/instructor in the Culinary Arts Department at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa.
Rave customer reviews posted on the Cowgirl Cookie Co. Web site prove that Bosich’s down-home goodness tastes good. In July of 2006, she was inducted into the prestigious American Academy of Chefs, the honor society of the American Culinary Federation. Bosich was named Team Coach for Culinary Team USA 2008 to assist in coaching the United States Culinary Olympic Regional Teams.
In her role as educator, Bosich has served as a chef/lecturer for The Collins College of Hospitality Management from 2002-2004. She was also founding Dean of Culinary Education at Culinard, The Culinary Institute of Virginia College in Birmingham, Alabama.
Although her career is peppered with honors and awards, Bosich prefers to focus on values. Maybe it’s the cowgirl in her, but Bosich likes to count her blessings. Among her blessings, she counts the education she earned at Cal Poly Pomona.
“I had such a positive and completely fun experience at Cal Poly Pomona,” she said. “At The Collins College, we were challenged to think critically and really earn the grades we achieved. Without a doubt, graduating from Cal Poly and The Collins College has been an anchor of credibility and achievement for my career.”
After Bosich graduated, she landed her first big job as a chef for a fine dining restaurant in a 1,000-room hotel property in San Diego. She was responsible for three meal periods, Sunday brunches and room service.
“Had I not received such a solid base and exposure to the industry through my education, I would have been eaten alive in the real world,” she said. “It was tough, but going to Cal Poly taught me to be as prepared as possible and to make decisions that would prove beneficial to those I work with and to my career down the line. To this day and as a teacher now myself, I recommend Cal Poly Pomona because it sets students apart from the rest of the pack.”
Bosich’s education, along with her own diligence, are credited for much of her career success. However, the cowgirl/chef/teacher still defers to her tried-and-true philosophy.
“Being in this business and being successful is a result of so much more than just you working hard or just focusing on yourself,” she said. “You truly need to work with others and demonstrate appreciation for those who take the time to help you achieve your goals. I approach each day with a grateful heart and always try to make a conscious effort to help others or give back in any way—big or small. I find that is what truly makes life rewarding and rich.”
This story originally appeared in the spring 2009 issue of Collins magazine.