Guest Chef Speakers
Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts is pleased to welcome industry chefs to speak with our students about developing their career as a chef.
Topics of discussion include how to build one's skills and knowledge in the workplace, industry standards & trends and restaurant operation. Additional seminars will be held on an on-going basis for our advanced Culinary Arts and Baking & Pastry Arts students, allowing them to meet face-to-face with the chefs who inspire them, and who may well be hiring them upon graduation.
These popular seminars are available exclusively to our current students.
One of our regular guest speaker’s at PICA is Mike McDermid, Partner Relations Manager for the Vancouver Aquarium’s Ocean Wise program. As a founding supporter of the Ocean Wise program we teach our students about sustainable seafood (in theory and practice) and Mike’s quarterly lectures are a valuable part of this important message. Our beautiful oceans and our students thank Mike for sharing his time with us!
We were pleased to welcome PICA alum, Jane Copeland, to speak with our current class of future Chefs about her travels and career since graduating from our Culinary Arts program in 2006. After putting her training to use at The Inn at Bay Fortune in P.E.I, Arzak and El Bulli in Spain, Jane has happily found her home back on the West Coast at The Wickaninnish Inn in Tofino.
Students at Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts welcomed cookbook author, Diane Morgan, to Bistro 101 while she was in Vancouver to promote her her new book “ROOTS”. Diane shared her inspiration for the book which stemmed from visits to her neighborhood farmer’s markets where she encountered unfamiliar root vegetables.
Diane also shared her own personal career journey from caterer and Executive Chef to teacher, food writer and consultant. Diane happily obliged in answering the student’s questions about her career path and eventual foray into food writing. Her advice to the students?: “Make yourself an expert in something!”.
Chef Michael Smith
Chef and Food Network TV personality, Michael Smith was in Vancouver to promote his fourth cookbook, 'The Best of Chef at Home'.
Students from Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts were given the rare opportunity to meet with Chef Michael privately at Barbara Jo's Books to Cooks.
Chef Michael provided insight into his life as a "vegetarian who eats meat". He spoke of making vegetables and fruits the main focus of all meals and choosing sustainable and wholesome products grown from local producers & farmers. He challenged our students to 'get engaged' and learn about real food and CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture) and to spread the word of buying local 'seasonal' products.
Lastly, as an advocate of all Culinary Institutes in Canada, he offered words of wisdom to our students that "You get out of culinary school, what you put into it". Engage and you will learn!
Chef Curtis Stone
Australian-born celebrity Chef Curtis Stone met with our Culinary Arts and Baking & Pastry students this month to provide some insight into the making of a Chef. Chef Curtis, who was classicially trained in London under the legendary, Marco Pierre White, spoke of his early days of becoming a chef and travelling the globe in his quest to learn from the best.
His motto - if you really want something, you have to go after it - was a crowd pleasure with the students. Learning and repetition of skills is needed to become a better chef - a notation that is repeated by many of our Guest Chef Speakers.
Chef Stone is an author and host of two cooking shows - 'Surfing the Menu & 'Take Home Chef'. He has also introduced a new line of kitchen products - THE CURTIS STONE RANGE - for the home cook, designed to save time in the kitchen.
Chef Michel Roux
Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts' Baking & Pastry students were given the rare opportunity to attend a pastry demo, with celebrated French Pastry Chef, Michel Roux who was in Vancouver promoting his new cookbook, Pastry: Sweet & Savory at Barbara Jo's Books to Cooks.
Chef Roux holds the distinction of owning 2 - Three Michelin star restaurants: Le Gavroche Restaurant (London) and The Waterslide Inn (Bray, Berkshire). He is a celebrated author of numerous cookbooks (Eggs, Sauces: Sweet & Savoury, Desserts: Ten Recipes, and Michel Roux's Finest Desserts).
"Pastry is not work ... it's my hobby. You have to love what you do."
Patience, repitition and learning are key. Money should not be your top priority after you graduate from school.... learning should be. Money will also follow once you have perfected what you do. Words of advice from someone who knows. Thank you Chef Michel!
Chef Martin Yan
Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts welcomed Chef Martin Yan of 'Yan Can Cook' - TV Cooking Show fame which debuted in 1978. With the 30th Anniversary of Chef Yan's first show, he released his 24th cookbook in English called Martin Yan's China (above in bookstores now) in 2008.
He enjoys the distinction as a certified Master Chef, a highly respected food consultant, a cooking instructor and prolific author.
He inspired our students with words of wisdom, working in the restaurant industry after they graduate from culinary school and the need to always keep learning.
Thank you Chef Yan! You are an inspiration to us all.
Chef Fabrizzio Salerni & Chef Stephane Istel
Fabrizzio Salerni, Stephane Istel and PICA Executive Chef & Program Director, Julian Bond.
Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts was pleased to welcome the 'Daniel' Group of Companies to the Institute. Cynthia Billeaud (Director of Human Resources), Fabrizzio Salerni (Corporate Chef) and Stephane Istel (Chef de Cuisine of the new DB Bistro in Vancouver, BC) arrived from NYC to discuss the job opportunities coming up with the launch of the new DB Bistro and re-opening of Lumiere in Vancouver, in November 2008.
Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts was honored to have writer & journalist, Michael Ruhlman visit the Institute on December 5th to speak with our students about his career and love of cooking as well as engage them in conversation about what makes for a great Chef.
Michael was in Vancouver promoting in his lastest book, The Elements of Cooking: Translating the Chef's Craft for Every Kitchen. He has also written The Making of a Chef: Mastering Heat at the Culinary Institute of America, The Soul of a Chef: The Pursuit of Perfection and The Reach of a Chef: Professional Cooking in the Age of Celebrity. He spoke to our students about the need to deepen the fundamentals & basics at school because it is 'reality' cooking and to always read a lot because you can never learn everything. "To be a cook is hard work but very fulfilling work. It is an engaging career where you will never stop learning."
Chef Claire Clark
Claire Clark, Executive Pastry Chef @ The French Laundry in Napa Valley, California
Our students were thrilled to meet and chat with Chef Claire during her recent trip to Vancouver to promote her new cookbook, Indudge: 100 Perfect Desserts.
She spoke of the importance of learning 'the basics' exceptionally well and then using these basics to build on one's own repertorie. She gave all of the ladies who are aspiring to be Chefs a word of advice - "You have to work twice as hard as men in this industry' in order to get ahead.
Thank you Claire! You truly are an inspiration to us all.
Chef David Adjey
Food Network Canada Celebrity Chef of 'Restaurant Makeover' and Author.
Chef Adjey met with our Culinary and Baking & Pastry during his recent visit to Vancouver to promote his new book, Deconstructing the Dish: A Modern Day Cuisine. David's passion and tough love approach provided our students insight into the professional kitchen.
He spoke of the importance of attending culinary school, learning the foundations of cooking and that repetition is a 'good thing' in achieving perfection in each area of the kitchen.
Thank you David!
Past Chef Speakers have included:
Ned Bell, Food Network Canada's 'Cook Like a Chef Series' discussed the importance of chef mentoring, working towards getting your 'Red Seal' and building a solid fountain in both schooling and work experience.
Christian Gaudreault, Tomato Fresh Food Cafe (Vancouver) explained that a culinary career can take you anywhere in the world as long as one has passion, dedication and determination. He surmises that it is the only career that utilizes all 5 senses (sight, taste, touch, smell and hearing).
Michel Jacob, Le Crocodile (Vancouver) spoke with our students about the importance of having a 'passion' and 'love for food' in order to have a rewarding career in the culinary arts.
David Long, Terminal City Club (Vancouver) shared his recommendations on how to develop a solid career as a chef.
Uli Laue, Grouse Mountain (Vancouver) discussed the advantages and disadvantages of different types of employment (i.e. cruise ships, hotels, restaurants, etc.)
Jean-Francis Quaglia, Provence Marinaside (Vancouver) discussed the finer points of Southern French cuisine.
David Hawksworth, West Restaurant (Vancouver) spoke about performing a 'stage' in Europe.
Joe Fortes Seafood & Chop House (Vancouver). Attendees: Stephanie Jagger (Group Sales), Jennifer Dodd (Sous Chef), Molly Edge (Personnel Systems) and Ryan Gark (Chef de Partie) spoke with our students about a career in the Joe Fortes organization, which currently employees 120 people.