Carlos Espinel

Culinary Arts

Faculty
The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale

Carlos Espinal, Chef, Culinary, Culinary Whites, Man, Instructor

I set high standards in class, plate presentation, technique, timeliness have to be achieved consistently. I love what I do and I make sure to share my energy and passion for cooking. Carlos Espinel , Faculty , The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale
What would you say is the defining moment in your life when you knew you were destined to become a creative professional?

When I was 19, I took a summer job at a restaurant in Bogota/Colombia—my hometown. I started in the front of house and then I decided to try the back of house. I fell in love with the energy and camaraderie of the kitchen. I then decided to move to the United States to attend culinary school and pursue a career as a Chef.

How do you weave your professional background into the classroom experience to provide an industry veteran's sense of the realities / challenges / opportunities of the profession?

I share experiences from my professional life and put them in a way that is relevant to the students.

Is there a class assignment that exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring? Similarly, how does your approach inspire each student to push themselves beyond their own perceived limits?

I set high standards in class—plate presentation, technique, and timeliness have to be achieved consistently. I love what I do and I make sure to share my energy and passion for cooking.

What role does collaboration contribute to students' success, especially when students from other programs contribute to the same project?

Kitchen work is all about team work, labs are designed so students always work in teams. In class, students are taught to help their team members if they have finished their assignment for the day. 

In your opinion, what is the single most important thing you impart to your students to help them succeed in your class and in the real world? Alternatively, what is the most critical advice you would offer any student as he / she embarks on a creative career?

Set high standards and hold them accountable.