AUSTIN—Aspiring chefs got to learn from some of Austin's best on Wednesday at the third annual Culinary Arts Career Conference.

The Austin Food and Wine Alliance hosts the event to show students the different paths possible to break into the food industry. Keynote speaker Aaron Franklin from Franklin Barbecue shared his journey with the kids.

“He was a drummer in a band and he just had a passion for cooking brisket and he did it for his friends on the weekends, and then next thing you know he’s the best pitmaster in the country,” said Mariam Parker, of the Austin Food & Wine Alliance.

Franklin, who never attended culinary school, wanted students to learn that it's okay to take an unconventional route.

“I’m also excited to see how many people are excited about food, because that makes me feel we’re probably going to have a pretty good workforce one day,” he said.

Students got to walk around and meet chefs at different panels, specializing in topics like farm to table, food trucks, and entrepreneurship.