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Respect, Integrity, Commitment

5 Sep

It might seem strange that the first post on a culinary class blog is not about how to create the perfect stock or how to cook an egg.  In a lot of ways our values are much like a stock.  They are a foundation.

Stock = Foundation of a sauce:

Values = Foundation of our careers.

If we start with bad stock, we will have a bad sauce.  The more we try to cover it up, the worse it will taste.  Similarly, if we have poor values, we will lead poor, miserable, undesirable lives.  The more you try to cover up bad behavior, the more bad behavior you will engage in until your house of cards comes tumbling down on top of you.  I want to make sure that you understand that in your career as a Chef, Cook, Manager, Director, Dishwasher, Waiter/Waitress the most important thing that will help you climb the ladder and remain there is not necessarily your skill.  Having outstanding culinary skill will get you some of the jobs that you want and will garner some sort of acclaim.  There is no doubt about that, but it is not the things that you can do that will make you a great Chef…it is who you are.

All too often in today’s media we are reminded of the bad behavior of our top business leaders.  Entire fortunes disappearing because of dishonesty, or lack of integrity, or just plain greed.  As you are the next generation of business men and women, I want you to really contemplate your own values.  Decide how you want to be remembered.  As the man or woman that destroyed your employees livelihood, or the man or woman that was bold enough to stand up for what was right, not cut corners, and put 110% of yourself into your work and achieved your goal.  Please take a moment to consider the following core values of our class.  These values will always take precedence in class.

Respect Respect can take many forms and will elicit different definitions from every person you ask.  If you have respect for you tools, you will be able to have them for your use indefinitely.  If you have respect for your ingredients, your food will taste so much better.  If you have respect for your fellow classmates, your happiness factor will go up.  Everyone has their own story, their own experience, and their own special talents that can enhance our learning experience.  Debate and discussion are welcome tools in my classroom.  When we are able to challenge ideas, we are able to create new ideas, better ideas.  Please make sure that when you are in the classroom you are always respectful of the instructor, your classmates, your tools, and your ingredients.  It will create a less stressful environment for you and everyone else in the class.

Integrity Yale Law Professor Stephen L. Carter writes that integrity is: “discerning what is right and what is wrong; acting on what you have discerned, even at personal cost; and saying openly that you are acting on your understanding of right from wrong.” or simply put :Taking the harder right over the easier wrong. If you are willing to do what you know you are supposed to do, even when there is nobody around  to notice, you are developing a pattern of responsibility.  Responsibility is key if you want to move on to higher positions in the workforce.  If your supervisor knows that he can trust your work even when he/she is not around, you will be the “go to”employee.

Commitment You will make many commitments in your life.  Every person on earth does.  You will commit to a spouse, a child, a job, an activity.  You have already made an important commitment to finishing high school and this culinary arts class.  When we start something in this course, we finish it.  Whether you are going to receive a good grade or not, it is more important that you finish what you set out to accomplish.  If you establish this pattern of responsibility now, it will follow you throughout your life.  It will make you a better employee, manager, and member of your community.

If you adopt these core values and live by them in this course, you will see that your work will shine and you will earn respect, not only from the instructor, but from your fellow students as well.  If these stick with you, you will see that you will stand above the competition in the work place, and you will be able to achieve at the highest level.

Check out some links:

HR Management.com’s take on a values based workplace
How will we treat each other?
Entrepeneur Magazine’s take on Corporate Values

Welcome to ROP Culinary Arts!

5 Sep

For the upcoming 2011-12 school year, the Chaparral High School ROP Culinary Arts Program is excited to offer a course blog.  On this website, you will be able to access links to course material covered in class, delve deeper into the content delivered in the classroom, and discuss current trends.  While participation in the course blog is not mandatory, you will find that the resources available here will help guide you in the right direction on your exciting hospitality career path.

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