March 13, 2014

Chef Jaime Chozet, Corporate Executive Chef at Iron Cactus, spoke at our most recent graduation ceremony and had some great insight for our graduates. Read below to see what he had to say!

“Good morning, Here is my chance to tell the future of America’s cooks how I really feel! Congratulations on completing the program!”

[pulls out notes] “I can chop without looking, can’t give a speech without my notes.”

“I just want to give you a lesson on what to expect and also to give you an idea of where you might be.”

“Regardless of level, you need to decide which way to go from here. Whether that’s owning a catering company, working as a private chef, or owning your own restaurant, you have taken the first initial step: a good foundation with an education. A step into the best industry in the world.”

“Why is this industry so great?”

“Working in this industry appeals to all the five senses.
Taste: the beautiful flavors of good food.
Smell: rosemary, thyme, fresh seafood, degreaser!
Touch: the constant pressure of working with your hands, the heat of the kitchen, cold of the walk in.
Hearing: the clanging of pots, the sizzle in the pan. The beautiful sound of silence when all is going well. The screaming of the Chef.
Sight: the pleasure of tasting with the eyes. Seeing all the beautiful food go out into the dining room.”

“This industry offers great job security – people need to eat! It opens the door to socialization. All the great people you will meet along the way have to eat, too! And it gives you the opportunity to travel and expand your food experiences.”

“My first piece of advice to you in your future is that you stay healthy. It is best that you stay in shape so you can do what you love for a long time.”

“Secondly, stay humble. Know that you are just beginning your career. Unless you can outperform your Chef in all areas, stay humble.”

“Lastly, work hard. The beer and wine or whatever your poison might be tastes so much better after a busy day of hard work.”

“I’d like to stand here and talk all day about cooking, experiences, and horror stories but, I am a Chef, I work nights and weekends and today we are booked solid. I love it!”

“Congratulations, Graduates! Good luck.”