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Culinary Student Turns Instructor

Culinary Student Turns Instructor

We’re excited to welcome back Spencer Barnett, a 2012 Culinary Apprenticeship Certificate grad. He’s back in the kitchen again, this time as an instructor, teaching alongside Chef Rich Bradshaw.

Spencer started working with Rich during his apprenticeship at Elevation Chophouse. Five years later, they’re still working together, now at Fire Stone Wood Fired Pizza & Grill in Woodstock where Rich is the executive chef.

As the sous chef, Spencer collaborates each weekend with Rich on chef-inspired dishes like their pan-seared scallops over smoky bacon corn risotto. The specials spotlight local and seasonal ingredients, and Spencer said he’s hard-pressed to name his favorite.

Chef Spencer Barnett, instructor

Chef Spencer Barnett, instructor

“I have the same response,” he said, “which is cooking something new because it allows me to learn something new. The culinary world is progressing every day, and it’s exciting to constantly be adding to my knowledge as a chef.”

Want to get to know our new chef instructor a little better? Here’s a quick Q&A:

When did you know you wanted to work in this field?
The love of culinary came to me when I started my first restaurant job as a dishwasher, watching the cooks push out so many orders with ease, adding their own finesse and executing as a team. That’s when I knew I wanted to be a chef.

Lemon-Pepper Snapper

Wild lemon-pepper snapper over grilled romaine heart with local heirloom tomatoes, roasted garlic croutons, shaved red onion, jalapenos and cucumber vinaigrette

How did this certificate program help you?
Receiving my certificate from KSU’s Culinary Apprenticeship program has prepared me to work in the culinary field and has inspired me to give back the knowledge and techniques I’ve learned. I feel grateful in how far I have come in my culinary career and for being able to prepare aspiring chefs for their future.

What have you learned as a chef?
My professional experience in the kitchen as a chef has taught me that teamwork and patience are key. There are good days and bad days, but you always come out learning something new at the end of the day.

What would you tell aspiring culinary professionals?
Never second guess yourself. Eighty percent of cooking is confidence. I would like to teach my students that everyone has something unique to bring to the table because they all have different style, taste and culture.

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