Journalism Degree Leads Alumna to Dream Job as Cook

Nicole Castro Pursel ’09

Nicole Castro Pursel ’09 prepares a meal as she learns the basics of French cooking in “boot camp” at the Culinary Institute.

We call it “serendipity” when dreams come true. Nicole Castro Pursel ’09 says she’s had a brush with that unexplainable good fortune in her career. After completing an internship at Time Warner Sports and earning her degree in journalism, she accepted an administrative assistant position at Wegmans in her hometown of Rochester.

One lucky day, she was asked to help out with the monthly “Wegmans Cooks” segment on Bridge Street, a Syracuse-based morning television show, where Chris Brandolino ’96 is one of the hosts. Pursel says all her experiences and education kicked in once she was suited up and on the set.

“My Oswego experience as an on-air talent for WTOP and my journalism background in gathering and presenting information clearly and accurately really helped.”

Inspired by her experience on Bridge Street, Pursel applied for a transfer from desk to kitchen, and she’s now an administrative cook for the Rochester-based retail grocer, working in the Liverpool store. With the head chef, she oversees food preparation, organizes ordering and helps train food workers.

“I love my job,” she says. “It’s a dream come true.” As for that cooking show of her own. Well, someday, perhaps. But for now, she and her husband, Robert Pursel, a teacher at West Carthage Elementary School, enjoy their Central Square home and reap the benefits of Pursel’s passion for preparing wholesome delicious food.

Linda Loomis ’90 M ’97

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