Recently, Bilkent News had the opportunity to interview Dora Giray, a 2018 graduate of the Department of Tourism and Hotel Management who is currently working as a cook III at the Broadmoor, a historic luxury resort in the state of Colorado in the USA. His journey to the States began with a job interview conducted right here on campus, when the Broadmoor’s vice president for human resources, Cindy Johnson, visited Bilkent in the context of the THM department’s collaborative relationship with the resort. As a consequence of the interview, Dora was offered an internship and began working at the Broadmoor immediately following his graduation in May 2018.
Would you share your experiences in the USA with us?
During the past 11 months, I’ve been working in the kitchen of the Penrose Room, a fine dining restaurant that specializes in seasonally inspired European cuisine. As I’ve had a passion for gastronomy and the culinary arts since childhood, it’s been a huge experience for me to work in such a high-quality restaurant – one that offers a perfect atmosphere for patrons to indulge in entrees crafted with the finest seafood, meats and local produce. One thing I’ve had the opportunity to observe firsthand is that as a result of globalization, a food culture is no longer tied down to a single place. However, Turkish cuisine still has a long way to travel. Although the Turkish, Anatolian, Balkan and Mesopotamian cuisines are very rich, they aren’t yet as well known as some others. Unfortunately, there’s not a single item representing our food culture on the menu at this world-class restaurant. Therefore, as leaders in tourism and gastronomy, it’s time for us to take steps to remedy this situation as soon as possible.
How has your education at Bilkent helped you in the USA?
I’m very happy to see that more and more students and alumni from the Department of Tourism and Hotel Management are coming to the Broadmoor for their semester internships and first jobs. We already have five alumni and four students doing internships in various departments, including the front office, food service and the kitchen, and know that many more students and alumni will be arriving in the coming months. The THM student and alumni community here at the Broadmoor is a valuable network for all of us. I’m very excited to see the outcome and impact of the education we obtained at Bilkent. Some of us have already received job offers from the property.
What advice would you give to THM students?
I wish them all success as they begin their journeys. I hope they’ll make the most of their years at Bilkent, as I’ve discovered that the department prepares us very well indeed for international career experiences and opportunities. Therefore, I encourage current students to take full advantage of the cultural exchange–training program conducted in collaboration with the Broadmoor to gain the experience of a lifetime.