Alumni Stories

TJ Reddick

Chef/Owner, JDR Catering Company
The Art Institute of Atlanta

Anthony TJ Reddick

I went to The Art Institute of Atlanta and re-learned my own driving passion. I basically got a rejuvenating jolt of knowledge that I had been missing. Anthony "TJ" Reddick , Chef/Owner, JDR Catering Company 2016 , The Art Institute of Atlanta

2016, Bachelor of Science, Food & Beverage Management

Runs Catering Company; Cooks, Laughs, Learns Alongside Fellow Culinarians

TJ Reddick is chef and owner of JDR Catering Company in Atlanta, Georgia. His main responsibilities include ensuring guest and customer satisfaction, cost effective management, and exceeding stated expectations. TJ also assists foodservice related activities including retail, cafeteria, and catering. He works on quality improvement, sanitation, facility-related activities, and menu preparation.

In addition to his work in the kitchen, TJ supervises the interviews of potential employees, scheduling, payroll, training, counseling, and employee reviews. “I communicate frequently with my other chefs and managers at other units. As a team, we cook, we laugh, and enjoy serving our customers.”

TJ mentions that while the industry is creative, it is also extremely challenging. “It’s grueling, but the passion I have for what I do helps [to get] me through each day.” He adds that his education added to the experience he’d already gained running kitchens professionally. “I thought I knew it all, but I was still missing something. I needed this. I went to The Art Institute of Atlanta and learned from one of the most untapped sources I had ever experienced—other students. I re-learned my own driving passion. I basically got a rejuvenating jolt of knowledge that I had been missing.”

His classwork included collaborating in groups and partnerships that emphasized strengths and cooking techniques within a group environment.  TJ recommends that current students enjoy the experience of school. “No matter what, you must pause, take a moment, and breathe. Remember back to why you’re doing what you’re doing and let that be the reason.”

TJ, a military veteran, says that he was challenged by the pace of his life. He started his family when he was very young—and his education was interrupted when he was called to serve abroad in the military. “Life is a journey and each time we reach a new step, we carry every bit of what life has given us and we use that as propulsion. I strive to fight, push on, and drive forward. I have met and succeeded each challenge with tree words: Bigger, better, and more. It’s like my own little mantra.”

Today, he’s excited to be making a positive impact on his coworkers. “I really go for the gold and invest in my team. I stay task focused and goal oriented. I will make a mistake and that is just a part of who I am—it’s what makes us all equal. But it’s our reaction that breaks us down or teaches us.”

TJ, who in 2016 earned a Bachelor of Science in Food & Beverage Management from The Art Institute of Atlanta, says that he knows his education paid off when he sees smiles on clients’ faces. “We must stay flexible, must stay hungry, and ever yearning for more. Being a chef now is not about re-creating the wheel but getting in deep and understanding the wheel. Spreading the knowledge and spreading the talents we have been given with those looking to enjoy it.”