Amy Carter

Culinary Arts

Chef Instructor
The Art Institutes International Minnesota

Culinary Faculty Member Amy Carter

I can't tell you how many students blossom while they're here, and how wonderful that is. Amy Carter , Chef Instructor
, The Art Institutes International Minnesota
Was there a defining moment when you knew you were destined to become a creative professional?

When I was 11, my mother gave me "The Art of Fine Baking" by Paula Peck. She inscribed it "to the finest Baker I know for her age." The interesting/funny thing is, my maiden name is Baker. She was making a joke, but also telling me that I loved to bake. It took me a while to find my way back to that love, but when I did I knew I’d come home.

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

A day doesn’t go by that I don't reference my personal experiences—whether it’s managing the daily challenges, or production of a baked good, or personal stages of professional growth. I tell the students that it’s the shared experiences that help them develop a professional viewpoint.

What class assignment exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring?

I teach a class called Chocolates, Confections and Centerpieces. For the gingerbread centerpiece, instead of just doing a house we do a lantern...that requires a bit more precision and pre-planning. The assignment stresses basic techniques, but allows for artistic freedom.

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

I encourage my students to care about what they do and make the most of every moment they have. If they care about their work, they learn faster, work harder, and gain the respect of their peers and mentors. One of the biggest challenges students have is learning how to take critique and give critique—not criticism—to others. Nobody wants to be "wrong," but learning from mistakes is paramount to enjoying the profession they’re here to learn.

Anything else you’d like to share?

It’s a joy seeing a student's growth as a person and professional. I can’t tell you how many students blossom while they’re here, and how wonderful that is. It’s also extremely rewarding to see how many of them are so successful in the world.