Eric Wynkoop

General Education

Culinary Arts Instructor
The Art Institute of Portland

Eric Wynkoop

Engage, and move to a place of sincerity toward your work. Eric Wynkoop , Culinary Arts Instructor , The Art Institute of Portland
What would you say is the defining moment in your life when you knew you were destined to become a creative professional?

It was an accumulation of experiences over a number of years, beginning with my upbringing at home filled with a variety of wonderful foods—daily, seasonal, and celebratory. Starting in childhood, cooking became a place for relaxation and personal fulfillment. Along the way, I grew to understand the meaning of hospitality and the reciprocal joy derived through food and cooking.

How do you weave your professional background into the classroom experience to provide an industry veteran's sense of the realities / challenges / opportunities of the profession?

Each week, I share personal stories and provide perspective through the lens of professional food production. An important part of the learning experience is to connect the classroom with the professional world and we do this through dialogue, guest speakers, and field trips.

Is there a class assignment that exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring? Similarly, how does your approach inspire each student to push themselves beyond their own perceived limits?

The Capstone project requires students to research and write-up a business plan for a proposed foodservice project. This project provides the opportunity to test the viability of individual ideas. It is an energy consuming endeavor. But, in the end, students realize the fruits of their labor and are proud to see their concept one step closer to reality, and to see if it is a viable concept.

What role does collaboration contribute to students' success, especially when students from other programs contribute to the same project?

Collaboration provides an opportunity for individuals to see, hear, and taste the ideas and craft of student colleagues. This is an on-going experience each week.

In your opinion, what is the single most important thing you impart to your students to help them succeed in your class and in the real world? Alternatively, what is the most critical advice you would offer any student as he / she embarks on a creative career?

Engage, and move to a place of sincerity toward your work.