I am excited to announce this new series on our blog. We will be interviewing chefs around the company (in random order) and allowing them to talk about their operations, their personal goals and their thoughts on trends in the culinary world. The first interview is below with Sous Chef Hope Hartley from Wheeling Island.
1) What motivated you to become a chef?
Definitely it was watching my grandmother cook. She cooked for many kids and cooked everything from scratch. I can still remember vividly when I was five years old in the kitchen with her and she was teaching me how to make a chicken from the chickens my grandfather had just butchered. I learned a lot from her including a love for cooking.
2) What achievement are you most proud of from your time as a chef?
Passing my CSC tests.
3) How is the role of the chef changing?
We are not just cooks and managers anymore. We have adapted to watching the stock pricing to see what is up before creating menus and with today’s pricing we’re trying to streamline things more to be more efficient. Chefs now have to keep up with the computer age. We are held at a higher accountability for what happens in the restaurant, not just in the kitchens.
4) What do you think will be the major issues chefs face over the next 20 years?
I think we have a few issues that will impact us. I have noticed that some of the younger generation are taking more short cuts to cooking and the end results are not good. Then there is the price of products that are going up along with fuel prices. Hopefully one good change will be that we all become more eco-friendly.
5) What are you looking forward to this year as a Delaware North chef?
I’m looking forward to working with the marketing team and doing more to promote the restaurants. There are going to be a lot of changes this year at this property and I am looking forward to helping make them better.
6) Were there any personal or professional obstacles that almost prevented you from becoming a chef?
One of the biggest personal obstacles for me starting out was not being able to get any grants for schooling and having to take out five loans.
7) What is the most important piece of advice you could offer someone just setting out to culinary school?
Study hard and take some kind of computer class, because you will need it.