Founder & Chef of Monica Glass LLC, and Food Editor of Jomby
“I like to work with my hands and make people happy. Food excites so many people, and a great meal or dessert can take them out of their heads for a minute or two, allowing them to focus more on their present being, their senses or nostalgic memories, and ultimately providing a certain happiness. That still really propels my choices every day.
Deborah Racicot (Gotham Bar & Grill), Michael Laiskonis (Le Bernardin), Jennifer Carroll (10 Arts), Ken Oringer (Clio), My Parents (Dan & Kathy Glass) are my mentors. They've all pushed and challenged me in immense ways, ultimately instilling in me the value of hard work. Each had their own views on food, which taught me to look at food in unique ways.
I learned early on in my career that people will always eat with their eyes, so food has to look pretty. But ultimately, what is going to stick is "did it taste good?" That should be your main focus.
I like to inspire by example - my attitude and how I operate in a kitchen, rather than brut force. I've found that people are more motivated when they believe it is their own choice and can feel some ownership. Put your head down and work, be curious and ask a lot of questions. When you think you know it all, it's time to move on. But have fun - I like to create a fun yet serious environment. Your attitude will be seen in your food. Do something you love every day and it won't be feel like work.
When hiring or mentoring aspiring professionals I look for curiosity, self motivation, inquisitiveness, humility, dedication, standards, and self discipline.
Taste everything. Even if you think you don't like it. Travel. Experience and immerse yourself in the unfamiliar. Seek out opportunities to learn. Eat out. It doesn't have to be anything fancy, but see what others are doing and how they are being inspired. Talk to your community. Support each other. Mentor people younger - they will often have brilliant ideas. Read a lot but don't copy.
I chose this industry because I love food, I love tasting and learning about new things, I love putting a smile on people's faces.
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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