Alumni Spotlight: Nicole Suanlarm, Culinary Arts

Eastern Center for Arts and Technology (EASTERN) 2007 Culinary Arts/Upper Moreland High School graduate, Nicole McDonnell Suanlarm, has worked as EASTERN’s Culinary Arts Instructional Aide since 2015. In February 2019, she became the co-owner of Musi Restaurant in South Philadelphia, recently named by Philadelphia Magazine as one of the top 50 restaurants in Philadelphia.

Growing up, Suanlarm always had a passion for cooking. While a student at EASTERN, she was a leader in her Culinary Arts class, and was selected as student of the month for February 2007. Prior to becoming the Culinary Arts Instructional Aide, she took part in a culinary internship in Ireland, held a managerial position at the Cheesecake Factory, and provided cooking demonstrations at the Reading Terminal Market.

“Being able to mentor and assist students in the Culinary Arts program and to be part of the school that helped me gain confidence in the culinary field is a rewarding experience,” said Suanlarm. “I enjoy watching students’ progress over their two years in the program, and I appreciate the positive atmosphere in which we work. There are so many career paths available in the culinary industry, and EASTERN’s Culinary Arts program helps students narrow down their career interests and develop a plan for the future.”

Students can build their culinary skills and techniques at EASTERN. Students also have the potential to earn up to nine transferable college credits through a statewide articulation agreement with Montgomery County Community College. Learn more about EASTERN’s Culinary Arts program here –

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