Career Story: Chef-Instructor At Culinary School

Chef-Instructor At Culinary School

Job Title: Chef-Instructor At Culinary School

Type of Company: I work at a culinary college that grants Associate degrees in Culinary Arts in the Boston area.

Education: BS, Business, Providence College •• MS, HR Management, Framingham State College (Framingham, MA) •• Culinary Certificate, Boston University •• Certified Sommelier, Court of Master Sommeliers

Previous Experience: I taught for 3.5 years at another culinary school; before that I worked as the teaching assistant/kitchen manager at another culinary school and worked on a cooking television show.

Job Tasks: As a chef-instructor at a culinary college, I teach students about the food and hospitality industry and, specifically, how to become a chef. But beyond teaching my students how to cook, I teach them about ingredients, food history, food science, food sanitation and safety, and wine. Students at the college take liberal arts courses such as English, Math, and Art History in addition to cooking classes. But I don't teach the liberal art courses;, I only teach courses that are hands-on and require students to produce food in a kitchen. Some of the courses that I teach include American Cuisine, International Cuisine, Baking and Pastry, and a course where students actually run a real restaurant that's open to the public. This means students will apply the techniques and theory they have learned in the classroom to actual encounters with paying customers.

A typical class is five hours long. One hour consists of a lecture where I discuss topics, techniques, or background on a specific cooking method, cuisine, or culinary concept; three and a half hours are spent on students actually cooking 4-6 dishes that are on the menu of the day; and a half hour is spent on cleaning the kitchen. Students get a chance to see how a kitchen is run from start to finish.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of my job is working with students. They are enthusiastic, focused and want to learn. They are like sponges in that they take in all of the knowledge and experience you have to share with them. The worst part of my job is dealing with the small percentage of students who don't care much. They just go through the motions and are not willing to work hard, focus, and do their best.

Job Tips: Do your best every day, even when you don't feel like being there!

Roll with the punches. Everything isn't always going to go as planned!

Stay focused, keep your mouth shut, work hard, and do what the head chef tells you to do!

Additional Thoughts: It's not a glamorous job, but the fact that we get to nourish people and bring them together with our food is kinda cool.

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