Gianna Stanley made a huge career pivot when she realized her post college dream job for a boutique marketing and consulting agency was not the the path she wanted for the rest of her career. Instead of staying stuck and unhappy, Gianna made a bold move to leave her job, and then another bold move by deciding to go to the Institute of Culinary Education in NYC.  The decision to go to culinary school actually came out of Gianna’s volunteering at the St Francis House Day shelter. After leaving her job, Gianna increased her volunteer hours at the shelter and soon realized the work of cooking and feeding people gave her the joy and purpose she was craving.

At the Institute of Culinary Education, Gianna fully embraced the intensity of the cooking program and took advantage of various internships and opportunities to learn. After finishing the program, Gianna got an externship at Blue Hill and then accepted a position as a private chef along with a side job as a chef with a pop-up event company called The Underground Kitchen. In addition to her cooking jobs, Covid led Gianna to another side gig as a food photographer. In our conversation, Gianna shares her career story and how she started and grew her food photography business. If you have a career switch on your mind or are curious about starting a new side hustle, you will love learning how Gianna has followed her heart to a create her own recipe for a meaningful career.

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