What is your current role?
I am the Director of Culinary for the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia.
How would you describe a typical day in your current role?
Typical day usually consists of spending the first hour of my day catching up on emails. The rest of my day is spent supporting the culinary teams in all the food and beverage outlets, whether it’s holding a training session or assisting in sending a large catering function.
What prompted you to become a Chef?
I knew as a chef I could live anywhere in the world and travel, this was the initial reason I became a chef.
Did you have a Chef Mentor? If so, who was your Chef Mentor and what did they teach you?
Each place I’ve worked the chef was a mentor for me in some sort of way, whether it was cooking skills or how to lead teams.
What is the best part of being a Chef?
Being in an industry where you will never know it all; you are always able to continue learning new things.
What is the hardest part of being a Chef?
Getting people to replicate your vision and leading large teams of people.
In your opinion, how are culinary reality shows different from the real culinary industry?
Reality shows have nothing to do with the culinary industry. It’s informative in the sense of possibly picking up some tricks or ideas, but its TV and shouldn’t reflect the reality of working in real kitchens.
If you traveled back to the beginning of your culinary career, what advice would you give yourself and why?
Stick it out- it will be worth it.
What advice would you give someone striving to become a Chef today?
Work hard and learn from everyone, even if it’s learning things you shouldn’t do, but do your time and learn the craft and the money will come.
What should someone think about before beginning culinary school?
Have an open mind and learn as much as you can.
Many future chefs dream of opening a restaurant or becoming a business owner, what advice would you give them?
Really learn the business before opening a restaurant. Even then, carefully consider the costs and expect not to earn a lot of money in the beginning.
What are some of the most important skills someone must possess when entering the industry today?
Dedication, open mind, and flexibility.
What tools and/or resources do you rely on the most and why?
Sharp knife, nonstick pans, and join your local American Culinary Federation (ACF) chapter.
What is one of the most important lessons you’ve learned throughout your culinary career?
Lead by example, don’t take shortcuts, build relationships and hard work pays off.
Our audience has a strong desire to make a career in the culinary industry, as such, do you have any final thoughts for them?
Work with people who are better than you are, stay positive and learn as much as possible, keep calm even during stressful times and buy a good pair of shoes.