“Keeping it real" is how Chef Instructor Gordon Bailey describes his approach to teaching for learning. “Just because someone can cook does not mean they will become a successful chef," he explains. “I do my best to instill the importance of becoming the complete package. I am active in culinary competitions and keep current with modern cooking trends, which allows me to share the latest information with students to give them their best shot possible!"
Born and raised in Manitoba, Gordon moved to Prince Edward Island in 1997 “to cook seafood for a year". He ended up staying for 17 and owning three different restaurants during his time on the island. When he returned to his prairie roots, he joined RRC as an instructor.
“My experience of restaurant ownership allows me to bring a realistic approach to what students should learn on the food costing, staffing and management side of this business -- the not-so-candy-coated version," he says. “I get the students to do extensive costing exercises to help them understand just how tight the profit margins are in the food service industry."
Gordon brings his own industry experience into his teaching through stories of the good, the bad and the ugly that he knows first-hand. “Chefs often burn out and lose sight of what is important, so I always have a few stories of how this related to me," he says.
Food is a lifelong passion of Gordon's – just ask him about his Scallops au Gratin dish! – but teaching is his inspiration. Seeing students improve their knowledge and skills week by week is rewarding, says Gordon, but watching two of his students win a national competition was a stand-out moment. “Watching Argie (right in photo) and Anthony place first and second in the national Young Chef's Challenge in Toronto in January was awesome! (RRC students win big) It was a long road with lots of practice and time invested with the best possible outcome."
Congratulations to Gordon on his teaching and mentoring of RRC students – and all the best to Argie who will represent Canada at the World Chefs Congress in Russia in 2020.
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Photo source: RRC online