David Koshizawa

Culinary Arts

Chef David Koshizawa
The Art Institute of Michigan

Be passionate about your craft. David Koshizawa , Chef David Koshizawa , The Art Institute of Michigan
Was there a defining moment when you knew you were destined to become a creative professional?

Both my parents are trained chefs from Japan. So from a very young age, I knew I wanted to follow in their footsteps. When I was three or four, my mom took my sisters and me to see my dad at work. I’d never seen that side of him before; watching him cook and plate, I was mesmerized. I knew immediately that this is what I wanted to do with my life.

How do you weave your professional background into the classroom experience?

Working in kitchens, you’re either learning a dish or teaching a dish. I remember working in different kitchens and how all the chefs I worked under had their own style of teaching—some were very supportive, some were extremely impatient, and others couldn’t communicate much at all. I incorporated all the positives and negatives into my teaching style.

How would you describe your approach to teaching and mentoring?

I speak to students on their level. Everyone learns in different ways, so I do the best I can to teach them individually.

How does collaboration contribute to students’ success—particularly when students from various programs work together?

I think collaboration between programs brings cohesiveness to the school. A Graphic Design class can create the restaurant menu, while Photography students take pictures of the prepared foods to be displayed on the video monitors. Everyone involved has a sense of pride in their work.

What’s the most important thing you impart to students to help them succeed in class and the real world?

Be passionate about your craft. No one is born knowing how to cook. It takes time and effort. You have to work hard and diligently to understand the craft of cooking.