Daingerfield Senior Ready to Make Food His Career

Kevin Green/News-Journal Photo
Daingerfield High School senior Kaneious Holloman rolls out a pie crust after mixing the ingredients Tuesday at the school.

Posted: Wednesday, May 12, 2010 7:36 am
By Sondra Fowler Special to the News-Journal

DAINGERFIELD — He burned his first pancakes when he was 7 years old, but he’s still in the kitchen.

Since childhood, Kaneious Holloman — Kane to his friends — says he’s cooked for “family reunions, gatherings, picnics and get-togethers.”

Everyone benefited. Next, the world.

The Daingerfield High School senior has been accepted into the celebrated Le Cordon Bleu School in Dallas. He begins July 7.

“I love to cook,” he said. “It makes people happy.”

His grandparents, Jimmy and Yvonne Lawton of Cason, had fun in the kitchen and encouraged young Kane to join in. He quickly advanced to brisket, fried catfish, ribs and smoked sausage.

His favorite meal? “Smoked pork barbecue ribs, marinated and cooked in foil surrounded by peppers, onions and Kraft Honey Barbecue sauce,” he said.

“I keep the chimney halfway cracked and the side door open so the smoke will rotate over the meat. It takes about three to three-and-a-half-hours to cook three pounds, because you cook it slowly and thoroughly — you don’t want rare pork.”

At an early age, he stayed glued to TV’s Food Network to learn, and discovered the elite, 100-year-old culinary arts school.

“Sports are not my passion,” admitted the strapping starting defensive end for the back-to-back state champion Tiger team. “I played football for fun, as a motivator to keep my grades up, and the teamwork.” He proudly wears two state championship rings, one on each hand.

The rings were quite the conversation pieces when he visited Le Cordon Bleu in February. “They called them my 'Super Bowl’ rings,” he said, “and they welcomed me with open arms. It was very exciting.”

Kane, also a library aide, said football taught him “to give 100 percent — if not 100 percent, then 110 percent.”

With a large supportive family — some of whom live in Dallas — he’s glad he will not be totally on his own, although for convenience, he will have an apartment around the corner from the school.

For now, Kane is focused on high school graduation and the one-and-a-half years of course work ahead of him. Even more importantly, he is scraping together the enrollment fee — a hefty five-figure number. Family support, scholarships and several loans, one available through the school, will help. But after graduation, he will have a large debt.

“They say that if I do well, I will likely have a job waiting,” he said. His sights are set at the top: chef of a five-star restaurant. “I know there will be a lot of work and many jobs before that, but it’s my dream.”

Part of his curriculum will be working in the school’s restaurants, which are open to the public.

After graduating, possible positions are many and varied, depending on ambition, education and drive. A graduate can advance to master chef, food stylist, confectioner, pastry chef, chocolatier, caterer and research chef, to name a few. Destinations are just as broad: restaurants, hotels, resorts, cruise ships, country clubs, convention centers, corporations, schools and hospitals.

Recent grads include restaurant owners, personal chefs, resort chefs and organic caterers. One is an executive chef for the Minnesota Vikings, another a special assistant to California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. Others work at Disney, MGM, Hyatt, Hilton, Target, Whole Foods and Aramark. Another appeared on “Iron Chef America” and won the competition.

He recently received more encouragement from Daingerfield’s Greer Farm Chef Eva Greer at the high school’s career day.

If his high school record is indicative, Kane will rise to the top.

His grades, character and attitude already have won him the high school’s “Principal Award” — its highest honor — for leadership, academic standing and integrity. He gives credit to his grandparents, Coach Barry Bowman and his church, Faith Temple, which he’s attended since birth.

“I try,” he said, with a grin.