by CIA Chef-Instructor Freddy Brash '76
- Every block students come to me to complain about their team in a production kitchen because their partner does not come in prepared. Come on, chefs! We know that we are supposed to review the recipes the night before. You can't wing it. Not here that The Culinary Institute of America. It's necessary to not just write down your recipes, but to write them down to memorize them and really understand them. Test yourself or with your teammate by reciting the recipe by memory. Impress your chef instructor!
- Attitude. Go to class that day with an attitude of gratitude. Attitude is the only thing that you can change, and of course, you can only change yours! Stay positive even if the going gets a little shaky. A positive attitude will bring results.
- Perspiration. You have to sweat a little and move in the kitchen. If the pot sink fills up, go and help out. If you are in a production kitchen feeding our fellow classmates, we have to speed it up. No plate goes in the window unless you taste it first and know that it's well-seasoned.
- Let go! If you have prepared really well and your brain and heart are in the right place, then you have to let go and wait for the results. Sometimes waiting in the hallway for another door to open is the toughest.
- Wait a minute, did I say five ways? One more—try to have fun and enjoy yourself. The CIA is fun, but requires real work. "Success" does not always mean an "A" or a pat on the back. Success can also mean that you did the best that you could on that day. However, if you let your teammates know that they did a good job that day, then you may also hear it back in return. Pay it forward and affirm your teammate's talents to be a real team.