It’s fun for me to see the progress and successes of my vegetable and fruit carving students. Although, I created my lessons and offer them to people all over the world, I often don’t get to see their successes until they send me their stories and photos.
Like many of my customer/ students Maria Yolanda Diaz has experienced her share of successes as a result of my lessons and website. Besides improving her carving skills and expanding her professional offerings, she also got the unexpected benefit of reconnected with a long lost friend. Here is her story.
Yolanda found my website almost 2 years ago. Then, about 1 year after having purchased some of my lessons, Yolanda started sending me some of her photo with short stories about her successes. It pleases me so much to see her progress and accomplishments.
Yolanda Diaz displays her Fruit Carvings at the
American Chef’s Federation
“Hello Nita, I want to thank you for your videos and lessons, I have learned a lot. I have been carving for some time now, and I found that your lessons are very informative, I found specially helpful when you include some “mistakes” that can happen and how to fix them 🙂
I’m sending you some pictures of the display I made for the AFC Florida chapter meeting in may, you can see that I use all the techniques I have learn from you.
Also I just want to let you know that I receive my video of “watermelon carving scroll pattern” and I’m ready to do it. My daughter Natasha is really impress by it, she want me to do it as soon as possible. I will send you some pictures of it as soon as i get it done. again thanks Nita for your help.
Best regards, Yolanda Diaz”
Yolanda’s First Scroll Pattern Fruit Carvings
True to her word, a few days later, Yolanda sent me photo of her first scroll pattern watermelon carvings that she made after watching my scroll pattern video lesson. Along with her photos, she wrote,
I just want to let you know, how much I did enjoy the new video, I did made one and I think it turn out really good (I sent you the pictures) I can not wait to use it in my future carvings. I only wish I live in California or close, so I could thank you personally and take classes with you :)”
A couple of months after that, Yolanda sent a few more photos.
Yolanda Displays and Does Live Demo at
Florida Technical College’s Food Expo
“Hello Nita, I just want to send you some pictures of my most recent carvings. As you see I have been putting in practice, all the techniques I have learned from your videos.
Also I want to thank you from adding some experiences from other students in your blog. I have been able to get in contact with some of them and I must tell you is really encouraging 🙂 We all share the same passion and so we can all help each other. for example the fruit tower that i made, I was able to do it, thanks to chef John Price, who explain to me how to ensemble the watermelons :). Again thanks Nita.
We hope you enjoy the pictures.
You can learn to carve letters onto melons in my lessons, Carving Letters and Words #1 and #2.
Yolanda Diaz’ Fruit Carvings Win Second Place in Competition
Then, later in August, I stumbled across a watermelon carving contest and saw a photo that looked like Yolanda’s carvings. I voted for the photo then I asked Yolanda if it was her’s and she replied,
“Hi Nita! Yes I did 🙂 I did work really hard on those melons, I have to thank you,because thanks to your blog and all the experiences of your students I did decide to try to enter into the contest.
Thanks again 🙂
I got 2 place on my category 🙂 I’m so happy. Thanks for your vote.”
Yolanda did a beautiful job on her competition fruit carvings, didn’t she? You can learn the techniques used in Yolanda’s prize winning fruit carvings in my lessons, Melon Carving, Smooth and Jagged Petals, and Carving Watermelons, Roses, Buds and Leaves.
Yolanda’s More Recent Fruit Carvings
Here are a couple more of Yolanda’s carving photos that she sent to me more recently.
Yolanda Reconnects with an Old Friend
Via My Fruit Carving Website
Besides learning carving techniques, Yolanda’s connection with my website also gave her an unexpected personal benefit. Though information that Yolanda saw on my website about another carver, she found and reconnected with a long lost friend.
“Also I want to share with you a very interesting experience. While back you told me that you knew chef ” Sid” Siddiqui, and I told you, he was the first boss I have here in USA, but I lost contact with him. (See he was once married to my cousin and that is how I come here to USA, but after their divorce he move and I loss contact with him). Well after your comment on Facebook, I decide to look for him, finally I founded where he work, so I wrote to him and I was so happy when I got a letter from him. He was so surprise and happy, he told me he has been looking for me also, now we been talking a lot, and he wants me to visit him and his family in Chicago; he been sending me some pictures of his work and competitions and giving me some pointers 🙂 Well again thanks for your help. Have a great day.
What will your story be when you start learning to carve? Learning to carve could help you grow professionally, win competitions, start or expand your business, make new friends and maybe even reconnect with an old friend.
It gives me great pleasure to see Yolanda’s fruit carving accomplishments and personal reconnect with Chef Sid (who by the way is a great guy). I thank her for sharing her progress and her stories. And, I wish her much continued success in her fruit carving adventures.
Another Great Success – Yolanda Wins First Prize Trip to Thailand
P.S. About 1 year after this blog post was published Yolana won a trip to Thailand! The trip was the 1st Place Prize in a Thai Carving Competition. You can read about Yolanda’s carving competition adventure by clicking here.