JoAnn Ayres

Culinary Arts

Chef Instructor
The Art Institute of Phoenix

Culinary Faculty Member JoAnn Ayres

Strive to do your best work. Keep trying, and don't give up when things are difficult. JoAnn Ayres , Chef Instructor
, The Art Institute of Phoenix
Was there a defining moment when you knew you were destined to become a creative professional?

I’ve always loved to cook and learn about food, so 30-plus years ago I went to culinary school. That’s where it all started.

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

Based on my professional experience, I stress one aspect to students in almost every class: the product has to be of a high quality to sell.

What class assignment exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring?

In Advanced Baking class, students choose how to decorate a three-tier cake for their final project. I try to push them to do something that’ll challenge themselves, but also something they can accomplish and learn from.

How does collaboration contribute to students’ success—particularly when students from various programs work together?

Students can be very helpful to each other. They often demonstrate a different technique that their classmates wouldn’t have thought of.

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

Strive to do your best work. Keep trying, and don’t give up when things are difficult.

What’s the most critical advice you would offer any student embarking on a creative career?

Again, their work has to be of a high enough quality to be sold. Otherwise, what’s the point?