Paying it forward in my industry means taking a young chef protegé or youngster who has a passion for the industry under your wing, and in time, with patience, understanding and guiding them as they build their skills, see them soar and set them free.
It means spending time with a young child in the kitchen and letting them share in the experience of learning how to cook or bake with you. It builds memories as well as building skills.
It means stopping whatever you are doing when your three-year-old grandson says, “Grammi, I want to make a pie with you.”
It means letting them lick the spatula.
It means making the same recipe ‘seventeen’ times – because they really like it THIS <————–> MUCH!
It means helping your nephew who has limited cooking experience and limited time when he calls you and ask you if you have any easy recipes that he can try.
It means providing a booklet of nutritious and easy-to-make affordable recipes for a new Mom who has up to that point, had little to no experience cooking and telling her that she is doing great. Fast forward to today – she enjoys cooking. The last time we communicated, she told me that I would be so proud of her because she had just finished putting a roast with potatoes and carrots into the oven. This same new Mom is now quite an accomplished cook. She told me, “it all started with that little Supper Book.” I couldn’t be more proud of her.
It means working with young students in the industry, showing them the ropes, guiding them through techniques and methods passed down from seasoned chefs over the decades. It means ensuring them that they are doing a great job and encouraging them to keep at it
My student apprentices will relate to this article. It is worth sharing.
Advice to Young Chefs
It means going back to your own mentors and thanking them for their time and patience when you were an eager and enthusiastic student.
It means revisiting where you started and volunteering in ways that can help those who are destined to follow your path.
Mentor them, teach them, guide them, see them soar, and set them free.