One Chef's Overdue Introduction

Hello again to all you foodies! Chef Mike here with my second installment. I just rolled in to school to teach my class this evening, and I thought I could use these few extra minutes to tackle the job of introducing myself. Last week I wrote a post that examined the human disgust reflex and how chef instructors often feel responsible for helping their students overcome this feeling when encountering new (and possibly scary) ingredients in the kitchen/classroom. I became so involved blabbing about my profession and my students that I neglected to mention anything about my past or how I spend most of my daytime hours.

I’m fortunate enough to have my days free to take care of my two young kids (yet another benefit of many jobs in the foodservice industry). My beautiful daughter, Delilah, who turns five in May, attends a pre-K program in the afternoons. My energetic son, Jacob, is thirteen months, and is just on the verge of walking. He's really loud...and really cute. He gives very wet kisses. My wonderwoman wife is also a culinary instructor at a great place geared towards home cooks called The Chopping Block. She teaches during the day, and also designs and writes the curriculum and recipes for all of the classes there. We live close to Lake Michigan, north of Chicago, and my wife and I both commute into the city to teach.

Prior to my life as a culinary instructor, I attended The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and graduated with a BA; English major, History minor...not exactly the fast track to chefdom. When I returned home to Chicago, I began working as a cook and a caterer, and then enrolled in culinary school. With culinary school under my belt I began cooking on the line in a small restaurant, and eventually worked my way up to running the kitchen there. We cooked fine dining menus served in a casual, neighborhood setting. It was an intense and often humbling learning experience. In addition to working as a personal chef cooking dinner parties in clients' home kitchens, I've also worked on the fringes of the industry as a butcher and a fishmonger.

So, like many others working in this industry for a number of years, I've done a little bit of this, and a little bit of that. I've been an instructor here at the Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts Chicago for almost eight years now, and I enjoy doing this more than all of the other jobs I've had combined. As if teaching isn't rewarding enough, I also get to eat all of the great things my students and colleagues whip up every day!

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            5 Program(s) Found
            • Alumni have appeared in reality competition shows such as Top Chef and Project Runway.
            • Has a team of about 4,000 faculty members focused on helping students tap opportunities in a marketplace driven by ideas.
            • Offers programs in design, media arts, fashion, and culinary.
            • Provides program coordinators who work with students to ensure they have the learning materials, assignments, facilities, and faculty to get the most out of the program.
            • Over 50 campus locations nationwide.
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            Good for Working Adults
            • Flexible Scheduling
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            • Transferable Credits
            1 Program(s) Found
            • Ranked among the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
            • Lets undergrad students try classes before paying any tuition.
            • Has an average class sizes of 18 for undergraduate and 13 for graduate-level courses.
            • Offers numerous scholarship opportunities that can help students save up to $750 per term on their tuition.
            • Tends to educate degree-seeking online and campus-based students who are adult learners with families and students who work while pursuing higher education.
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            • Online Courses
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            5 Program(s) Found
            • Received the 2013 “Cooking School of the Year” Award of Excellence from the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP).
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
            • Externship opportunities are available at numerous famous New York City restaurants.
            • Campus is located near downtown Manhattan, within walking distance of many popular attractions such as the Radio City Music Hall.
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            Good for Working Adults
            • Flexible Scheduling
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            3 Program(s) Found
            • Culinary Arts program includes the 3-week Farm To Table® Experience, where students gain a direct, in-depth look at where food comes from.
            • Numerous scholarship opportunities and financial aid are available to students who qualify.
            • Accreditation from the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET), and the Council on Occupational Education (COE).
            • 2 campuses located in Boulder, Colorado and Austin, Texas.
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            Good for Working Adults
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            3 Program(s) Found
            L'Ecole Culinaire , Kansas City
            • Offers educational opportunities for the aspiring, career-minded chef.
            • Students are trained by professional chefs and spend the majority of their final term working in the campus restaurant to learn all phases of the culinary industry.
            • St. Louis campus offers new Food Truck Entrepreneurship courses.
            • Has a student-run food truck that tours around St. Louis.
            • All campuses have a public restaurant where food is prepared and served by students.
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            Good for Working Adults
            • Flexible Scheduling
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            1 Program(s) Found
            Dorsey Schools , Roseville
            • Preparing individuals for career opportunities, technology training, and certifications for the medical, culinary arts, HVAC repair, legal, and cosmetology fields since 1934.
            • Has many lecture classes with a maximum of a 30:1 student to teacher ratio, and most lab classes with a maximum of an 18:1 student to teacher ratio.
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Council of Independent Colleges and Schools.
            • Has locations in Dearborn, Farmington Hills, Lansing, Madison Heights, Roseville, Saginaw, Southgate, Waterford-Pontiac and Wayne-Westland.
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            4 Program(s) Found
            Virginia College , Chattanooga
            • Instructors are typically real-world professionals with many years of experience in their career fields.
            • Ranked #3 in Best for Vets: Career & Technical Colleges 2014 by Military Times.
            • Presents the full tuition cost up front. In most cases, even textbooks are included in the total price.
            • Provides career services associates to help students review their resume, provide career counseling, help with job searches, and more.
            • Has 27 campus locations across the southern United States, plus offers online degree programs.
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            Good for Working Adults
            • Flexible Scheduling
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