Episode 62 is here! Teaching Work. (LINK IN PROFILE) Defining Success. What does success mean in today's culinary world? How do you define it for yourself against industry expectations? Meet Chef Todd Grieger of Culinard, The Culinary Institute of Virginia College in Richmond, someone who knows the Charlottesville food scene quite well. Especially since he's worked in most of our restaurants over the past 20 years.
It was while at Red Pump that Todd came to some realizations. Namely, when you work your whole life to get to this point and it just doesn't work out, what then? Feeling a bit burned out, he took a teaching position at Culinard. In addition, cooks a few nights at Oakhart Social and chips in to help wife Jaclyn at BBQ Exchange Events & Catering. All the while deciding next steps. Taking time out to reflect and reassess what exactly it means to be a successful chef beyond what the television shows tell you it should be.
How is teaching different from working the line? What skills do you have to call on? What special challenges and triumphs are involved and how difficult is it to change hats? How do you teach a student and motivate a line cook who isn't being paid? Many of his students come to class embarking on a second career. How can he tell which students will succeed? The best way is WORK ETHIC. Show up on time. Wash dishes if you see they're dirty. Work clean. Label things. The basics. Talent helps, but you won't succeed without the basics. You have to keep the long view when you start out and be willing to do all the jobs, even the unattractive ones.
Todd's current obsession? Pizza! He cooked great ones during his tenure at Red Pump. Could his own place be in the future? Eons ago he started at The Brick Oven in Charlottesville. Maybe he'll come full circle and pour his immense talents into wood-fired dough? Lord, let's hope so. Wherever he ends up I'm grateful for this fascinating conversation with a deep-thinking chef whose attention to detail presents itself in his food. #food #chef #culinaryeducation #charlottesville #cville #virginia #va #edacious #podcast #edaciouspodcast