“I have had many important lessons. One that stands out that has carried with me in which I continue to teach younger cooks is to never compensate quality for time. Always take the time to make it right, no matter how busy you are. Whether you're cooking on the line or going about your prep day – take the extra minute to consolidate, square off your tape, label all mise en place, taste everything, etc. Taking the extra time to make things right will make you a better cook and chef. „
I completed my bachelor’s degree at Johnson and Wales with an internship at Café Boulud. I developed many relationships with cooks and chefs there and it was there where I met Chef Aaron Bludorn who was Executive Sous Chef at the time. Little did I know, I would be his Chef de Cuisine nearly 10 years later at Bludorn. I learned countless valuable lessons during my time there that would impact my career.
When hiring aspiring professionals, I look for a positive attitude, punctuality, chemistry with the other team members, eagerness to learn, a sense of urgency in the kitchen, organization, and cleanliness.
I find inspiration in seasonality, what is fresh and local. I also find inspiration through old family recipes and cookbooks and foods I grew up eating, nostalgia.
Everyday at Bludorn we start our day with a kitchen meeting. We discuss the previous night’s service. What went well, what we see that can be worked or improved on and how we get there. We always conclude with an inspirational or motivational quote. Additionally, this year we’ve had the opportunity to team up with and host several great chefs at Bludorn to raise funds for Southern Smoke. It’s been very inspirational and a great learning environment for the team. To be exposed to new techniques and cuisines from these amazing chefs is a great way to learn and get inspired!
The most important skills to possess to be successful in this industry are a positive attitude, teamwork, communication, the willingness to learn, and resilience.
Disclaimer: Individuals featured in the Inspirational Career Timelines section have been nominated by peers, colleagues and/or other members of the hospitality industry. It is to the best of our knowledge that each individual has demonstrated leadership and acted as a positive role model for others.
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