In the realm of culinary arts, passion often serves as the foundational ingredient for success. For Ethan Wise, a culinary arts student at Ivy Tech Indianapolis, this passion has propelled him to earn recognition as one of the inaugural recipients of the Chef Greg Hardesty Scholarship Fund

Reflecting on the momentous occasion in fall 2023, Wise expressed his initial disbelief at being named one of the two first-ever scholarship recipients. 

"I was honored; I didn't expect it," he humbly admitted. 

The opportunity arose when Chef Jeff Bricker, the hospitality administration program chair, visited one of his classes and spoke about the scholarship, prompting Wise to seize the chance by applying.

Wise's culinary journey began in middle school, where he found joy in assisting his mother in the kitchen. His early experiences in cake decorating ignited a passion that continues to drive his culinary pursuits today. 

“Baking was my favorite for quite a while, but I really enjoy both cooking and baking now,” Wise said. 

Currently pursuing both a certificate and an associate degree in culinary arts at Ivy Tech Indianapolis, Wise's education is enriched by the broad, diverse opportunities provided by the College. His culinary education extends beyond the classroom, with hands-on experiences and exposure to industry-standard practices. Wise's coursework includes a wide array of culinary skills, from pantry and breakfast cooking to baking and customer service.

Beyond his academic pursuits, the Chef Greg Hardesty Scholarship has provided him with invaluable networking opportunities in the culinary community, allowing him to connect with industry professionals and gain insights into the culinary world. Through the scholarship, Wise looks forward to collaborating with local chefs, further expanding his culinary horizons.

Looking towards the future, Wise envisions himself traveling to explore different culinary traditions and techniques. However, his ultimate goal remains grounded in his hometown of Covington, Indiana, where he aspires to open a bistro or bakery, emphasizing the use of fresh, local ingredients cultivated from his own garden.

Choosing Ivy Tech Indianapolis was a practical decision for Wise, allowing him to stay close to home while pursuing his culinary ambitions. His experience at Ivy Tech has been fulfilling, providing him with a comprehensive culinary education and exposure to industry-standard practices.

“I love the broad range of industry knowledge we get to go over,” Wise said. “I also enjoy getting to work with the industrialized cooking equipment; it’s newer and more modern than what I'm used to working with.”

The Chef Greg Hardesty Scholarship has not only provided financial assistance but has also opened doors to invaluable opportunities for Wise. He eagerly anticipates participating in culinary stashes around Indianapolis and collaborating with local chefs, further immersing himself in the culinary industry.

One of the highlights on Ethan's horizon is the possibility of joining the annual international trip organized by the Ivy Tech Indianapolis hospitality administration. The trip presents an exciting opportunity for him to delve into the culinary culture of various European cities and gain insights into international culinary practices, just as he initially set out to do at the start of his higher education journey.

As he continues to hone his skills at Ivy Tech Indianapolis and beyond, Ethan remains steadfast in his pursuit of culinary excellence, fueled by the support of the Chef Greg Hardesty Scholarship and his unwavering dedication to his craft.

Learn more about Ivy Tech’s culinary arts program, the Courses student-operated food services, and the Chef Greg Hardesty Scholarship.

About Ivy Tech Community College

Ivy Tech Community College is Indiana's largest public postsecondary institution and the nation's largest singly accredited statewide community college system, accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Ivy Tech has campuses throughout Indiana and also serves thousands of students annually online. It serves as the state's engine of workforce development, offering associate degrees, long- and short-term certificate programs, industry certifications, and training that aligns with the needs of the community. The College provides a seamless transfer to other colleges and universities in Indiana, as well as out of state, for a more affordable route to a bachelor's degree.