What would you say is the defining moment in your life when you knew you were destined to become a creative professional?
Cooking a 3 course meal for my parents, when I was 12 years old.
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?
I use industry experience to give multiple examples beyond the lecture and/or cooking demonstration.
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 Chef Wanted paper/projects has students pick their favorite chef and write a resume and cover letter. This allows the student the freedom to choose, do research, put themselves in the shoes of someone with much more experience than them, as well as articulate a specific cooking philosophy and style.
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?
Teaching/cooking/leading by example shows the student that cooking with love, with a sense of urgency, and care for every detail will make for outstanding food flavors, presentation, organization, and fulfillment.