Apprenticeship: An Insider’s Perspective
For a look into the world of an apprentice,
we interviewed Nathan Haynes, an
apprentice at The University Club,
University of Missouri, Columbia, Mo.,
who attends Johnson County Community
College, Overland Park, Kan. He is a
member of ACF Greater Kansas City
Haynes, like every apprentice, is working
toward a career in the culinary industry. The
journey to this goal can be both challenging
and exhilarating. To find out more about
becoming an ACFEF apprentice or hosting
an ACFEF apprenticeship program, visit
www.culinaryprofessionals.org. We wish
all apprentices the best of luck in following
Why did you join an ACFEF apprenticeship
I joined the program to further my culinary
career. I really enjoy this line of work, and
once the opportunity presented itself, I
chose to go to school to become a chef.
Why do you want to become a chef?
I admire the knowledge that chefs carry
concerning food. I also have a high regard
for hardworking people who love what they
do. I feel this is the best field of work to be
a part of, and to become a respected chef
would give me a great sense of pride.
What is the best part of apprenticeship?
It is working side by side with my
education. Everything I learn in class is
strengthened at work, and the lessons I
learn at work help me with school. It’s a
hands-on experience that I find is the best
way for me to learn. I feel that classes
alone wouldn’t fully prepare me for the
reality that comes with being a chef. The
real-world experiences I gain at work are
priceless, as far as I’m concerned.
Where do you want to work when you
As far as specific location or place, I’m
undecided, but I do know that I still want
the opportunity to learn and grow as a
chef, wherever I work. Atmosphere is one
of the most important deciding factors,
rather than cuisine or region.
What has been the most challenging
aspect of apprenticeship for you?
The most challenging part is the drive to
school. It’s a five-hour roundtrip to the
Overland Park campus, which makes for a
long day. The schooling and the work aren’t
difficult for me. I like the challenge, so I
enjoy what I am learning and the work I do.
If you could cook one meal, what would it be?
It would have to be a pizza. With hand-rolled dough, fresh tomatoes, basil and
fresh cheese, and with a good crust and
sauce, you have a simple, yet elegant, dish.
It’s comfort food at its best.
Who is your culinary hero?
James Beard. His main ambition was to
teach others, and I respect that. He lived
his life trying to further knowledge about
the culinary world. His books, television
appearances and especially his schools
are testaments to his great teaching ability
and his love for cooking.
How has apprenticeship affected your life?
The program has given me direction. My
goal is to graduate and become certified.
Once I reach that goal, I will have the
knowledge and confidence to expand
further in my career. The program has
definitely been beneficial, not only to me,
but to my career, as well.
Nick Weber is the apprenticeship coordinator
for the ACFEF. He can be reached at
firstname.lastname@example.org or (904) 484-0221.