Alumni Profile: Rasmus Kallankari

Alumni Profile: Rasmus Kallankari

Rasmus is from Vantaa, Finland. He left WAB after Grade 9 in 2007. Rasmus stopped by last week to tell us what's been going on in his life and to say hi to old friends and teachers.

Where have you been since leaving WAB?

After I left WAB in 2007, I went back to Finland and for culinary school at Perho in Helsinki. Then in 2012 I did my mandatory army service. I was enlisted to special forces recon, and that really was a turning point in my life, because it was the first time I really had to work for something. The training was tough but not inhumane. For example, out of 365 in the year, I was in the forrest for 103. We had training exercises in which our superior's goal was to mentally "break" a person to help the trainees learn that they are not as fragile as they think they are. After that, nothing has really felt tough anymore, because now when I have a hard time with something my mind goes back to that moment in the army, when we marched 26 miles on skis in the -25 degree forest and had to build and pack a tent under ten minutes. That's one of the hardest experiences I have ever had, but I still wouldn't trade that for anything.

When did you attend WAB?

I was only here at WAB for 1 year(2006-2007), but my brother Joonas graduated from here in 2007.

Where are you now? What are you studying/working on?

I am a freelance professional chef now. I really like it. You have freedom and responsibility at the same time.

Freelancing keeps the job fresh and interesting. I cooked for refugees last week; you don't get to do that everyday. To contrast, I've also done lunch for Porsche and Audi.

Also, being a freelance chef, I always want to be careful and do the best I can, because I cook at different places and work with different teams, so I want to create my own reputation. I'd like to have my own restaurant one day.

Baking is my area of expertise. I've wanted to have my own bakery since I was 7 years old. My father told me if you have a passion for baking, you should became a chef. He said chefs can do everything, and then you are not limited only to baking. For me, I cook for the customer. I love the feeling when a customer enjoys the food I made.

To be able to keep your head cool is the most important thing in the kitchen when you are cooking.

Did your WAB experience influence what you have done in your life?

WAB influenced my music and art choices. I decided to once again study music production. That's something I love to do because of WAB. I will apply for Helsinki Pop Jazz Konservatorion this coming spring.

What are your best memories of WAB?

The people, the teachers! Compared to Finland, the education at WAB is super, because people here are passionate about teaching. I remembered I came to WAB with a score of 1 or 2 out of 7, but left with scores between 5 and 7 a year later. I loved my teachers here.

Do you have any advice for Grade 12 students who will be graduating?

Do what you love, and love what you do. Be smart! Never regret what you've done, but learn from your mistakes. You can do whatever you like, but you have to take responsibility for your own actions.