Yves Chambaz Ups and Downs – Summer 2018 Blog
by Yves Chambaz, September 9, 2018
This past summer was a complete rollercoaster at work. Filled with moments of fear and jubilee. Being one instructor short was the hardest challenge. Delivering week after week of lunches with our crew of young cooks was the fuel that kept me running.
It was my fourth summer as a chef instructor for the Summer Teen Cuisine showcase for After School Matters. My third one leading the program. The stakes were high. We wanted to increase ticket numbers from past years, so we decided to open for service on Thursdays instead of Fridays, giving the crew only three days, twelve hours total, to learn and prep six different weekly changing menus.
Having only one week to train 25 teens, with little to no experience in the kitchen, to present a full lunch service for 150 guests, was just the beginning of the challenge. But the dedication and curiosity of the group made the instruction and performance go smoothly, inspiring the instructors and inspiring confidence in the whole crew.
We had an eventful soft-opening. Considering it was the very first service ever for everyone but the two chef instructors, there were a lot of possible outcomes. But the feedback was awesome! Precisely the morale booster that the crew needed. After that, confidence led the way, and the skills of the teens grew stronger and showed every day.
At the end, 737 guests were served during six services. We sold out for three of them. Partnerships between the organization and five different restaurants and chefs were established. Two of the apprentices landed a stage with a restaurant partner. One of them got hired. In my book, my best summer session ever with ASM, and, hands down, the best crew I have ever worked with!