Mauro Daniel Rossi
Program Chair, Culinary
The Art Institute of California—Hollywood, a campus of Argosy University
Have a sense of urgency. Be responsible for your own actions. No excuses. Mauro Rossi , Program Chair, Culinary , The Art Institute of California—Hollywood, a campus of Argosy University
Was there a defining moment when you knew you were destined to become a creative professional?
I started in this industry late, but I knew I had an inclination for arts in intermediate school. Even though professors and counselors begged my family to send me to art school, I stubbornly followed my classmates to science school...in Italy you pick a concentration of disciplines before starting in a specialized high school.
How do you weave your professional background into the classroom experience?
I teach from my background. My real-world experience is fundamental to the material and deliverables in the kitchen, and gives students a valuable sense of how things work in the industry.
What class assignment exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring?
I coach our competition team. The standards are high, the pressure is high...I tolerate no nonsense. Competitions come closest to behavior and skill set required in the industry. I don’t teach how to survive on the hot line; I teach how to be a professional and harness the creativity that’s inevitably squandered because of youthful arrogance.
How does collaboration contribute to students’ success?
Our program is designed for groups. The syllabus requires a team at each station to complete the task/assignment at hand. There would be no food operation without teamwork. For the individual, commercial cooking is like boxing...but for the team, it’s like basketball.
What’s the most important thing you impart to students to help them succeed in class and the real world?
Have a sense of urgency. Be responsible for your own actions. No excuses.
Anything else you’d like to share?
I’ve been in the industry since 1980, working in Australia and New Zealand where I owned several restaurants and an ice cream company, as well as in Sweden and Japan.