Baking & Pastry
The Art Institute of Houston
If you're just after money, you'll never be great. Jeffrey Guy , Instructor , The Art Institute of Houston
B.S., Biomedical Sciences, Texas A&M University
A.O.S., Baking and Pastry, The Culinary Institute of America
More than 15 years' experience as a pastry chef including: Pastry Chef, Houston Country Club; Pastry Chef, Hilton Americas Hotel; Executive Pastry Chef, The St. Regis Hotel, Pastry Chef, Ruggles Café Bakery; Assistant Pastry Chef, Soaring Eagle Casino and Resort; Assistant Pastry Chef, Nemacolin Woodlands Resort and Spa. 2011 ACF Central Region Pastry Chef of the Year.
Was there a defining moment when you knew you were destined to become a creative professional?
Early in my career, I came up with the idea of building a life-size grandfather clock out of chocolate as a New Year’s Eve display. It took over 50 hours, but the clock turned out beautifully and was a huge success.
How do you weave your professional background into the classroom experience?
I share examples from my past professional work that relate to what we’re covering in class that day. I make sure students understand how different the classroom setting is from what they’ll face when they start working in a real kitchen. And I try to pass along the skills and the knowledge that I feel were missing from my own education.
What class assignment exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring?
In Building Centerpieces, I teach students why we do things a certain way. I challenge them to create their own centerpiece design rather than just mimic one of mine. It’s a better way to learn and grow creatively, and many students have been surprised at the results.
What’s the most important thing you impart to students to help them succeed in class and the real world?
Keep an open mind and learn as many different ways of doing things as you can. Then decide which ones work best for you.
What’s the most critical advice you would offer any student embarking on a creative career?
Follow the talent, not the money. If you’re just after money, you’ll never be great. Seek out the best chefs and learn everything you can from them. Once you have the talent, the money will follow.