Aly Forman

Location 15h@2xPhiladelphia, PA

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Food is life. Not just in some cliché, metaphorical language, but quite literally, food is life. Food is what keeps us running every single day so that we can do the things that we love to do, achieve the goals we aim to achieve, and most importantly, enjoy each day with the amazing people who surround us. Without food, we would not be human, or an... Read more

Food is life. Not just in some cliché, metaphorical language, but quite literally, food is life. Food is what keeps us running every single day so that we can do the things that we love to do, achieve the goals we aim to achieve, and most importantly, enjoy each day with the amazing people who surround us. Without food, we would not be human, or any living creature for that matter. We would simply be skeletons. Food is such an essential element of life on this planet, which is why we must treat it delicately and honor the resources that we are given by our earth. To be a part of a system and a family that not only provides this fundamental ingredient to every person who crosses its path, but does so in a way that is sustainable, inventive, and so extraordinary, is a dream. For as long as I can remember, this dream has just been a dream; simply a figment of the imagine. I never believed that there was a possibility for me to work in an environment where I could focus so much on the important things that matter to me. Noma is that possibility. I full-heartedly believe in and support all of the ideals that Noma focuses on. Not only does the Noma team create incredibly inventive and delicious food, but they do so in a way that respects nature and is original and pure. Noma cherishes and honors the earth and every piece of land and living being that it encounters. Noma preserves the integrity of ingredients and cultivates food that is unprecedented. Not only has Noma done this, but Noma continues to do this on a daily basis. This approach is one that people around the world undertake so often, and many times are unable to sustain. Somehow, in some genius way, Noma continually achieves this.
I am not the common candidate who has had years of experience in the front or back of the house of a restaurant. I have not worked under some amazing chef who has shared his or her wealth of knowledge and experience. However, that does not mean that I do not have the ability to learn quickly and attribute great things to Noma. What I have to give to the restaurant and the team is something that cannot be taught. I have a passion and a drive to learn and experience what I have always dreamed of being a part of. I am ready to dedicate my life to the Noma team, and given the opportunity, I will prove that I am able to achieve our greatest goals and work to create an unimaginable atmosphere. Whether I am in the back of the house preparing the carrots for months on end, serving tables, or taking care of reservations, I can guarantee that I will give nothing but my best and hardest work to make Noma the best that I know it can be.
Although I have not worked specifically in a restaurant, I have had many experiences that enhance my abilities and my knowledge about the industry. I attended college at Syracuse University, which I may add has snow for about 9 months of the year, so I am used to the freezing cold. An amazingly inspired man, Adam Sudmann came into my life four years ago and has since made a strong impact. Adam works in Syracuse, New York with the refugee population. He works with people from countries all over the world who have had to flee their homes and have ended up in Syracuse. To help these refugees get involved with the community and get some exposure, Adams hosts a refugee pop-up food event, twice a year. The event is called “My Lucky Tummy.” Each event features chefs from 5-6 different countries and allows them to showcase their cooking skills and share a bit of their culture with the Syracuse community. Shortly after meeting Adam, he invited me to become involved with My Lucky Tummy. I began working for my first pop-up event by spending long days in the kitchen, working as a sous chef to any of the refugees who needed assistance, primarily doing prep work. Although I was just barely a sous chef and doing simple tasks that were well below my full capabilities, it was a great learning experience and an indescribable opportunity that cannot be overlooked. To be in a kitchen with chefs from all over the world and to see the vast array of flavors, ingredients and techniques being used, was unlike anything I have done before. I worked long days, but when it came to the night of the event, every minute was worth it. Seeing the dishes come together and the chefs being able to share such a large part of their backgrounds with the community, was an amazing experience. After that week, I fell in love with My Lucky Tummy. For years following, I always was so thrilled to be back in the kitchen to learn from the new refugees and taste their diverse and complex flavors. For my last year working with Adam at My Lucky Tummy, he gave me the opportunity to be fully in charge of the kitchen. I worked for days to help the chefs get anything they could possibly need to make their dishes perfect. On the night of the event, I was in charge of making sure that every dish came out on time and in the perfect way that the chefs had planned for them to be. I organized the wait staff and provided anything that anyone needed from the back of the house. After that long and tiring night, I felt more empowered and ready to continue to work hard than I have ever felt. I knew that I could do that forever and have a continuously growing passion and love for the trade.
This was my first professional experience in the food industry, yet it was not my first experience in the food world. From the day I was born, food has been a focal point. Coming from a Jewish family, everything revolves around food. If we are happy, we eat. If we are sad, we eat. If there is a holiday, we eat. And with my family, when there is food, there is wine. I learned to appreciate wine from such a young age, as I watched my parents travel and learn about the ins and outs of the art. I also learned that no matter how much I know, there will always be more to learn. I will be forever growing and learning, which I am so excited for. My family has traveled to 6 different continents, and every single trip that we have been on has revolved around food and culture. Really, the food is the culture. Food can tell so much about a place and a people.
When we visited Thailand, visiting temples and riding elephants was such an amazing opportunity, but the most memorable part about the trip for me, to this day, is seeing the Maeklong railway market. Walking along the tracks and seeing thousands of different stalls set up on a dirt road right where the train speeds by, was mind blowing. I tasted many new flavors during that visit. My whole family had their own personal adventure, each of us left with a little piece of Thailand to bring home.
When we visited Peru, we were only passing through Lima for one night. With so many options of what to do in a huge city, of course, we made food our first priority. The minute we landed in Lima and got out of the airport, we took a car directly to our anticipated destination: the home of Chef Javier Wong. I had read about Chef Wong and did everything in my power to reach him. The task was a difficult one, but after two hours of sitting in his home and watching him cook and being able to taste his creations, it was more than worth the effort. He is a truly unique man who has a long lifetime of stories, which he shares with his customers through his cooking.
During my junior year of college, I took a course called “The Mediterranean Diet.” The curriculum consisted of the science of food, nutrition, history, wine, and how the Mediterranean diet has evolved and differs from the Western diet. At the end of the semester, our class traveled to Tuscany to get a firsthand look at everything we had just read and learned. I can safely say that every person in my class had a much greater appreciation and understanding of food after that trip. We spent a week in the country side, living on an agriturismo. Every day we woke up early to milk the cows. We spent the days shelling beans, cleaning and collecting honey from bee hives, and prune vines. We walked down long windy roads to visit cheese and wine makers and learn about the incredibly elaborate processes they conduct each day to make perfect products. We cooked our own meals each night using solely ingredients from the farm. After a week in the countryside, we traveled to Florence to further see and taste the Mediterranean diet. We ate at various types of restaurants and cafes, took food tours, cooking classes, wine tasting lessons, cheese classes, pasta making classes, olive oil tastings, and more in order to get hands-on experience with every possible part of the food system.
These examples are just a couple of the many extraordinary experiences that I carry with me every day. As I collect my knowledge, explorations and journeys throughout my life, I always aim to apply them and share with others. Food is about sharing and one of the best ways to share a feeling and a story is through food. It does not have to be complicated. In fact, sometimes the simpler, the better. To me, food is one of the most intimate things. Whether I am spending a day in my garden alone, cooking with my mom for hours, traveling to farmer’s markets, or going out to dinners and tastings, I am in my happy place and continuously learning, growing, and sharing.
Growing up with a family who cares so much about food and the environment, I have developed strong feelings about these matters. When I got to college, it was very difficult for me to see the amount of waste that comes out of dining halls and food centers each day. I immediately needed to do something about it, as I could not stand idly by. That was when I joined Brain Feeders and Food Recovery Network. Brain Feeders was started by other students like myself who are passionate about food sustainability. As an organization, we worked to create better relationships between students, faculty, and farmers. Throughout my years at Syracuse, we hosted speakers who came to talk about the slow food movement, farmer’s rights, and various sustainable food topics. We connected farmers to the head of food services in order to provide local and organic food to students via dining halls. We created a CSA (community supported agriculture) program for students on campus to receive boxes of fresh produce every week from local farmers. Lastly, we opened a “real food café” in one of the dining centers, which continues to provide food from local farmers and providers in the Syracuse area, focusing on sustainable and organic foods. The second organization, Food Recovery Network (FRN), aims to reduce food waste across America. As a member of FRN I went to dining halls after closing time and packaged up hundreds of pounds of perfectly good food that would normally be thrown, and delivered it to different shelters in the area. FRN strives to increase awareness and knowledge about the major issue that food waste has become. These experiences and engagements have equipped me with a very unique toolbox; making for a very well-rounded candidate.
My journeys have taken me across the world, constantly learning, making me hungry for more. Every time I sit down in a dining room, my senses are aroused and I instantly become full of life and observant to everything happening around me. When a glass of wine is put in front of me, I am always the last to take a sip, as I use every sense possible to fully taste and take in the aroma of the wine. I read the menu over and over, absorbing every little detail. I ask questions. I am always striving to learn and become a greater part of the food world. Noma is the greatest opportunity to fulfill this desire. I cannot imagine a better opportunity or environment with such inspired people with whom I want to work and learn from. I can promise that I will dedicate everything that I can possibly give to Noma. Food is something that will always be a part of me. To me, food is life.

My Dream Job is Work as a cook or sommelier at Noma.

  • Pre-Health Professions
    University of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphia, PA, US
    Jun. 2016 to Dec. 2017

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    Post-Bac Certificate Degree • GPA: 3.5


    Pre-health professions post-bac program for pre-dental, pre-med, and pre-vet students.

  • Public Health
    Syracuse UniversitySyracuse, NY, US
    Aug. 2013 to May. 2016

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    B.S Degree • GPA: 3.65

    Renee Crown University Honor's; Dean's list


Culinary Menu / Recipe Development




General knife handling

Ticket Management

Vegan / Vegetarian Cooking

Vegetable Breakdown

Vegetable cookery

Menu development

Ability To Lift 40+ Lbs


Cellar Organization

Classic Wine Service Expertise

Classic Wine Service Knowledge

Understanding Of Viticulture & Winemaking


Wine Cataloging

List Creation

Wine Knowledge

Wine Ordering

OpenTable or other

Customer service

Food / Beverage Pairing

Food Preparation Knowledge

Organizations & Volunteer Activity
  • Volunteer

    Food Recovery Network
    Volunteer • Aug. 2015 to May. 2016

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    Recover food from dining halls and deliver to local shelters
  • Sous Chef and Kitchen head

    My Lucky Tummy
    Volunteer • Nov. 2014 to May. 2016

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    Help run pop-up food events by being a sous chef and running the kitchen the night of the event, planning dishes and organizing timing.
  • Peer Network Engagement Intern

    Hillel Syracuse
    Member • May. 2014 to May. 2015

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    Engage over 60 students to become more active in the Hillel community
  • Founding Member

    Brain Feeders
    Member • Dec. 2013 to May. 2016

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    Organize and plan food justice, food insecurity, slow food movement, sustainability, and local food events and programs. Organize campus CSA. Plan menu and open Real Food Cafe. Bring local and organic food to campus through dining halls
Wine, Sustainability, Local and organic, Creative food, Art
English Fluent
Spanish Intermediate
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