For our next interview with outstanding DAIS seniors we talked to Joshua Roy, widely known on our campus as Chef Josh. Why was he given this name and what is his life plan after he graduates from Dalian American International School? Please read the interview and get to know this distinguished young man better!
This year marks his sixth year attending DAIS. Josh thinks there’s much difference between large American public schools and our school in Dalian. “I can say with certainty that here, there’s a much greater sense of community. Not only do I observe this among students, but between teachers as well.”
Josh and his younger brother Caleb are originally from Houston, Texas, but both their parents and their family hail are from Baton Rouge, Louisiana. His mother has been working in education both back in the United States and now in Dalian. “I think I derived a majority of my morals and understandings of others from my mother, who always would tell me what was right from young. She has instilled within me a desire to surround myself with people who care about me just as much as I care about them.“
His favorite subject at school has always been science: “The many different things we can do with science and its ability to cover such a wide array of fields has always interested me beyond words”. No wonder that Josh got a score of 4 in the AP Biology exam. He’s also been highly successful in Mandarin language, winning a few awards at school for proficiency in the language and astounding development and receiving 4 in the AP Mandarin exam as well.
His favorite teacher, however, was not a science teacher, but quite possibly a supporter of the subject that Josh thinks was the most challenging for him: World History. “Mr. Twaddell has such a passion for history and genuine wisdom in the subject that he is willing to share with any and every one he meets. He made every class enjoyable and welcomed everyone with a smiling face.”
Josh also enjoyed taking part in MUN conferences at DAIS. He joined the MUN program because that was a good and fun way for him to practice public speech and improve his presentation skills. Josh also volunteered during social events at school and beyond such as International Day, Monster Mash, Beach Clean-Up, Auntie Wang’s Clothing Drive, and AmCham Fall Festival.
During his school years, Josh has always tried finding a passion that he was willing to pursue, which eventually ended up being … cooking!
Do you want to try something sweet and utterly delicious? Then you must definitely call Josh! He has been an entrepreneur of a baking/cooking business on DAIS campus for the last 4 years.
Joshua recalls that he was first given the name Chef Josh by his mother who grew and nourished his love for cooking since an early age, and the name stuck. "The first time I thoroughly enjoyed cooking probably stems back to my years as a young child watching my mother making holiday meals. Some of my favorite dishes were recipes passed down from my grandmother and watching her make them was what really caused me to appreciate food more.”
After moving to Dalian, Josh started to share his culinary talent with the DAIS community. He remembers that in the 7th grade he decided to make a cake to celebrate his birthday with his advisory class. The classmates really liked how it looked, but having just come from America, Josh wasn’t familiar with Asian tastes at all. They still joke about how sweet that cake was, despite it was fairly standard for an American dessert.
Since then, Josh has learned well how to customize his dishes to meet local tastes. He is also trying to invent recipes himself, and whenever he finds something interesting online, he makes it his goal to alter it any way possible to improve the taste and essentially make it “his own” rather than just someone else’s recipe.
Josh’s favorite cuisines are French and Japanese (he really cannot choose between them), and his dish of choice is duck confit with risotto. However, his customers prefer to order desserts from him – cakes, pies, pastries, and of course his famous fudge. During the past year, Josh has been running Fudge Friday business, and he could always expect sleepless nights when it came to making Chocolate Peanut Butter fudge.
Josh thinks that his proudest moments as a chef were (surprisingly!) being critiqued by people he cares for. “There’s nothing worse than being told that something I did was wrong or bad, but whenever someone genuinely offered their insights on what could have gone better or just tried to help, I felt nothing more than joy – because it meant they liked and appreciated my work enough to not just brush it off as being something good.” Josh recognizes that time management and finding the right ingredients at the right time are the most challenging parts of being a chef. Alarms, calendars, open tabs on multiple devices and support from his family all stand him in good stead.
His strongest point in the kitchen is replicating instructions. Josh is confident he can reproduce any recipe he comes across, no matter how complicated it is, even though he admits he has some difficulty expressing himself creatively – he prefers to do things in a traditional way. Meanwhile, his ability to constantly grow as a chef attracts more and more customers and made him famous at DAIS. “Since my initial days of running the business, not only have I been able to improve the quality of the food I produce, but I have also relieved a lot of the stress that used to come alongside it.”
Although Josh loved science at school and it was initially the field he wanted to go to college for, at some moment he began to realize more and more that science should remain more like a form of entertainment for him. Josh decided that he needed to do something more practical if he wanted to live happily in the future, and his culinary skills will help him here.
Josh is planning to major in Business Management in college. He has already received offers from University of Toronto, Canada, and Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne (EHL) in Switzerland. He is still applying to Korean colleges in the summer, and his dream schools are Yonsei University and Korea University in Seoul. The college counselor Ms. Milan assisted Josh in compiling all necessary documents for applying to universities. Due to his unique circumstances of applying to Korea, she filled out and suggested her opinions on some uncommon forms of documentation, and Josh really appreciates her help and wide experience.
Josh told us he will miss his friends from DAIS the most when he leaves. He feels like he developed a very strong bond with some of the people here, and every year when someone moves on, he can’t help but feel as though there is a hole where they used to be in his heart. Josh wishes all DAIS students to be open, talk with people outside of their own grade, and pursue their dreams that will inevitably come true. "Here, with such a small community built around kinship and deep connections with others, there’s certainly no downside to being expressive unlike in other public schools. Hiding yourself is going to be a decision that you’ll eventually come to regret when you understand this reality."
After he completes his education, Josh would like to open a restaurant or a bakery in Korea. We all hope we can visit him there and enjoy Chef Josh’s treats again.
Good luck, Josh!