Yes, Chef! – Diamond Culinary Academy
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Yes, Chef!

Culinary mentors and role models are crucial to molding our careers. They drive us to push limits, learn from their experience, and become our best selves. From professors to pros, sous to celebrity chefs, sommeliers to banquet managers, you won’t find the wisdom shared here in any textbook.
Gale Gand

Celebrity Pastry Chef Gale Gand on Kitchen Challenges and Successful Chef Attributes

Nationally acclaimed pastry chef, restaurateur, teacher, television personality and cookbook author Gale Gand didn’t start out on a culinary path, but was hooked after her first shift in the kitchen. The founding pastry chef and partner of Chicago’s two-Michelin-starred restaurant Tru worked against the kitchen’s gender divide and made a name for herself through a mix of natural talent, a flexible mindset and a lot of grit. She shares some of that journey with us, what she thinks are the earmarks of a successful chef and the importance of choosing an employer by kitchen culture.

Ruth Alegria

Interview with Ruth Alegria “Mexico City’s Market Maven”

Want to know where to find the best barbacoa in Mexico City or which mezcal bar is the current darling? Or maybe you want a guided introduction to the city’s street-food scene or a hands-on cooking class devoted to mole. Ruth Alegria is the go-to source for food lovers headed for D.F., the Distrito Federal¸ as the locals call Mexico’s teeming capital.

When Playing it Safe is Too Risky – Interview with Rich Landau

Can a professional chef really stay challenged preparing vegan cuisine? For Rich Landau, whose Philadelphia restaurant, Vedge, is helping define today’s vegan cooking, the answer lies in the full dining room he enjoys every night. Landau has been a vegetarian evangelist since he opened Philadelphia’s Horizons Café in 1994; at Vedge, he goes even further, eschewing all animal products, but the restrictions just seem to feed his creativity.

Alon Shaya


Just over a year after opening the eponymous Shaya in New Orleans, Alon Shaya accepted his second James Beard Award, this time for 2016’s Best New Restaurant. The chef’s reputation has established an exceptionally loyal fan base, and his talented staff drives his confidence to seek out new challenges. We asked him about the partnerships and experiences that brought him here, and his advice for those looking to “cook their story.”

Pilot R&D Kitchen

Collaborate, Innovate, Communicate – Interview with Ali Bouzari

He’s young, super-bright and plays well with others. No wonder Ali Bouzari has skyrocketed to prominence in the realm of high-end restaurant R&D. Explaining food science clearly to non-scientists is part of his impressive skill set, but strong “people skills,” in Bouzari’s view, are equally essential to his current and future success.

Brian Landry

Executive Chef Brian Landry Shares His Real World Challenges

New Orleans native Brian Landry is passionate about conservation of seafood from the Gulf of Mexico, a supporter of regional foodways and on the board of directors for Café Reconcile, as well as a chef mentor for budding culinary students. He shares how he came to partner with John Besh and become executive chef of Borgne.

Jared Rouben

Finding Brewing Education with Culinary Brewmaster Jared Rouben

Culinary Brewmaster Jared Rouben builds complexity in his beers through chef-trained knowledge of his ingredients, their flavors and aromatics. He shares his excitement over the craft beer boom, and what he thinks are the best routes to a brewing future.

Chef Entrepreneur Andrew Gruel and the Importance of Mentors

Once Chef/Owner Andrew Gruel decided hospitality was his track, he left his liberal arts education behind and enrolled at Johnson & Wales. After finishing his culinary degree, he wanted more, and returned to school for a food marketing and management degree. Now he’s an entrepreneur with two food trucks, six stores and a growing sustainable seafood franchise.