Chef instructor Frazer Breckenridge has been instrumental in building our Culinary Apprenticeship program into one of the best in the state. We are excited to announce that he is reprising his role as our lead instructor for the program beginning this fall. We were able to catch up with him to learn more about his background and what students can expect out of the program.
Discuss your career path and how it led to instructing our program.
I had been working in restaurants ever since my teenage years. When I got my B.S. in Marketing, I had no direction with what I wanted to do in a career. At that point I decided to enter culinary school at Le Cordon Bleu.
I then worked in the kitchens of a variety of restaurants, did a little catering, and eventually progressed into a management role at Whole Foods. One day I got a call from an old culinary school friend of mine, Greg Brooks (who helped start the program), wanting to know if I was interested in teaching at KSU. The rest was history.
Who is the ideal student for this program?
Someone who has a great attitude and an eagerness to learn. Those students who embrace all aspects of the program (classroom and apprenticeships) succeed the most, hands down.
What should students expect to learn?
All the cooking methods (grill, sauté, bake, broil, deep fry, poaching, pan fry, bake/roast, braise); different plating and garnishing techniques; how to use and maintain a knife; how to prep vegetables and meat; how to fillet a fish; a little bit of baking and pastry; how to work quickly and efficiently; food sanitation and safety; and how to work as a team. About 95% of everything we do in the kitchen is from scratch.
What are your thoughts on the apprenticeship aspect of the program?
I think it’s a huge reason this program is so great. Students are able to get valuable, real-world experience while working in the classroom.
They develop more rapidly than my class ever did in culinary school, and I know it’s because of these offsite apprenticeships. It’s an excellent way to get your foot in the door and establish solid contacts. Many students go on to work for these restaurants and catering companies after they graduate.
What is the career outlook in this industry?
As a society, we are getting busier and busier every day. In this fast-paced world, people and families do not have the time to prepare meals like they used to. That’s where the food service industry comes into play. According to the National Restaurant Association, the restaurant industry is the second-largest private sector employer in the United States, and it adds jobs at stronger rates than all other industries combined.
I would also like to add that being a restaurant chef is not the only avenue to travel down with this program. Students can become caterers, personal and private chefs, food stylists, food truck owners, retail operators, etc. Specialized occupations, like butchering and artisan bread making, are becoming huge as a result of the increasing public interest in good quality food.
What advice would you give to future chefs?
To work in many different venues and soak up as much knowledge as you can right out of school. Later on, use that combined knowledge to help develop your own style.