Steven D. Keneipp
The Art Institute of Indianapolis
You have a singular talent that makes you different from anyone else in the world. Capitalize on it. Be different—and be better. Steven D. Keneipp , Nutritionist/Chef Instructor , The Art Institute of Indianapolis
Was there a defining moment when you knew you were destined to become a creative professional?
A thank-you from Julia Child, who told me that my caramels were her favorite.
How do you weave your professional background into the classroom experience?
Owning a restaurant for 28 years and working for 20 years as the community nutritionist for St. Vincent’s Hospital have given me an endless bounty of real-world stories to share with students.
What class assignment exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring?
I don’t want to bore my students—and I don’t want them to bore me. I take a very active approach to teaching; when a student presents a report, it’s in an unthreatening, round-table format where they only need to deliver the salient points, no reading from note cards.
How does collaboration contribute to students’ success—particularly when students from various programs work together?
I believe teamwork gives students a range of different perspectives...and makes for a more creative and interesting “stew.”
What’s the most important thing you impart to students to help them succeed in class and the real world?
I tell them that I’m with them for a short time and I may be demanding, but take all this experience and all these lessons and use them toward your success.
What’s the most critical advice you would offer any student embarking on a creative career?
You have a singular talent that makes you different from anyone else in the world. Capitalize on it. Be different—and be better.
Anything else you’d like to share?
My mother and my aunt bought an A&W Root Beer franchise when I was 13. I learned very early what the food industry was all about.