Michael J. Becquet
The Art Institute of San Antonio, a branch of The Art Institute of Houston
Was there a defining moment when you knew you were destined to become a creative professional?
I grew up with a love of food. My family included farmers and restaurateurs, and my father was a produce buyer for a grocery chain. But my most memorable moment was meeting Graham Kerr, the “Galloping Gourmet” from early 70’s TV. That’s when I knew I wanted to become a chef.
How do you weave your professional background into the classroom experience?
By doing just that—I always try to bring my own personal real-life experiences into the classroom to help students connect theory to industry practice. I often add to that by having students conduct interviews with local chefs and restaurant owners.
What class assignment exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring?
When my students meet with culinary professionals for those interviews, they not only get an opportunity to hear a new perspective, they also begin to learn the power of networking in the industry.
How does collaboration contribute to students’ success—particularly when students from various programs work together?
That’s one of the most valuable benefits of studying here. By collaborating with their peers from different programs, students learn more, learn to work together, and develop professional friendships that’ll help them for the rest of their lives. That’s a big deal!
What’s the most important thing you impart to students to help them succeed in class and the real world?
No one said it would be easy. If it was easy, it wouldn’t have value.