What do you teach at the CIA? How do you prepare students for success?
I’ve taught in the restaurant for five years and am now teaching Culinary Fundamentals. In the restaurant class, my students had to run a real-life fine-dining restaurant in the Napa Valley. They had to deal with every facet of the business, including maintaining and ordering product, monitoring food costs, managing employees, and determining how much food to prepare based on reservations and anticipated walk-ins. They really learn how to run a business. So whether the students want to stay in kitchens or work in another area of food, the restaurant class gives them an array of tools they can use in the future.
What do you want students to remember after they graduate?
With the education they have received at the CIA, their knowledge goes far beyond just knowing how to cook. They’ve gained proficiency in wine, management, and front-of-the-house service. They’ve been pushed out of their comfort zone many times. And hopefully they’ve found their passion and are now able to follow it. CIA alums are everywhere, which makes it a career network students can use to their advantage.
What is one of your hopes for the future of the industry?
My goal for the future of the food industry is to continue to have managers and employees who work with each other, who take a moment to understand each other’s side, and who are willing and educated enough to make good decisions.
Do you have a passion outside of the CIA?
I am a member of a coop horse barn. I own a horse, I ride, and I’m part of a great group of people who take care of each other’s animals. Being outside and working with animals who have their own minds and issues is something that demands my full attention and is a fantastic way to decompress. We also cook for ill members of the club, which gives me opportunities to follow my simple passion to cook for others and watch them enjoy what I have created.
Albrecht-Dürer Berufsschule, Düsseldorf, Germany.
Executive Chef, Hyatt Andaz Hotel, Napa, CA. Chef de Cuisine, Sally’s Seafood on the Water, Manchester Grand Hotel, San Diego, CA; Vue, Park Hyatt Beaver Creek, CO. Sous Chef, Bivans, Park Hyatt Beaver Creek, Beaver Creek. Culinary positions, Fischstube Zurichhorn, Zurich, Switzerland; Hotel Walserhof, Faschina, Austria; Hotel Montana, Lucerne, Switzerland; The Lodge at Vail, Vail, CO; Hotel Steigenberger Belvedere, Davos, Switzerland, Swissôtel Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf.
Manager of the Year, Manchester Grand Hyatt, San Diego, CA. Third Place, Chef of the Fest Competition, San Diego Food and Wine Festival, 2008.