August 18, 2023
In a world where culinary masterpieces are pushing the boundaries of flavors and presentations, there exists an invaluable secret to culinary success, mentorship. Behind every chef’s triumph, there stands a guiding light, a culinary mentor, who ignited the flame of passion and drive, unlocking the true potential within a budding culinary enthusiast. A mentor can present oneself in a variety of ways. It may be hands-on cooking in the kitchen and guiding with culinary techniques, providing direction with passion, drive, and inspiration, or pushing the mentee through the tough days, knowing the outcome will be much greater. The person who can spark creativeness and help shape a culinarian’s journey from raw talent to culinary brilliance, creates the type of stories we love to share at Vitalia North Royalton.
It is hard to put a limit on the amount of people who have been instrumental in my growth and drive, I feel I grow every day and there are multiple people to thank for that. I have never had just one mentor I’ve always had multiple, but all of them have something in common and that is the drive to come together for one common goal, to take great care of the guests and people we serve. These people are William J. Verna, Brian Albrecht, and Maggie Demko.
I met William before I started at The LeCordon Bleu, and he has been a trusted friend and confidant ever since. Brian and I crossed paths while working for the Gables of Hudson, now known as Hudson Grande Senior Living which is now operated by Arrow Senior Living. I met Maggie at Vitalia Solon during her tenure as Corporate Executive Chef of Omni.
I’ve had the pleasure to work with all three of these individuals, William on-and-off for 16 years, Brian for ten years, and Maggie a little over a year. I am in constant contact with all three.
To me, a mentor is someone who has your back when you don’t know what to do or where to turn, someone to lend their knowledge, and help you grow professionally and as a person.
As we continue to push our creative menus and flavors, we can reflect on all the amazing culinary mentors out there who have dedicated their time, energy, and wisdom to help develop us as Culinary Directors, along with their teams. As the culinary world evolves, one thing remains constant, the torch of culinary mentorship will continue to shine and bring new, upcoming chefs into our communities. Let us celebrate this tradition by raising a toast to the mentors who enriched our lives, giving us the opportunity to taste their delectable creations.
VITALIA® North Royalton in North Royalton, OH offers 55+ villas, senior apartments, assisted living, and memory care with a variety of services and a range of floor plan options. Amenities include Weatherby’s Restaurant, a 24-hour bistro, concierge service, housekeeping, events and entertainment, personal care, transportation services, and more. Comfortably located right on York Road just moments from a wide range of shopping, dining, and attractions.
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