The high volume production, HVP, class was split into two segments. It featured two chef instructors, one for the breakfast portion and one for lunch or dinner depending on scheduling. Now the class is broken into three parts and students get a mix of all three categories. HVP is the final class before externship. It helps students gear up for larger scale food production such as large restaurants, hotels or catering.
The breakfast chef was a combination of two instructors. One of them was shadowing so that he could learn the class procedures and take over the breakfast portion of the class later down the road. Chef Ward, was the main instructor. He was a thin, energetic chef who, regardless of the 2.00am meeting time and his silver hair, came into class with a smile and 100% energy. It was like he mainlined espresso shots before class. He was always running around giving instructions to other students all while getting the class set-up for service. He gave students his all, answering any questions that they had and showing the proper techniques for things as simple as making pancake batter. Each day he would call for demos so he could show us something new. And each day was always full of surprises.
Chef Ward did have a drive for doing things consistently, which he should. Looking back to an early morning of class, my partner for the day had just finished baking muffins. As she was un-moulding them and lining them up on a cooling rack, chef waltzed by and glanced down. He stopped and out of my peripherals I noticed him putting two muffins on the table. They were two completely different sizes. Chef Ward called our attention and as we looked up it began. In a serious tone he quietly asked “Hey, which one of these would you rather eat?” he paused waiting intently for a response. “That one” my partner said quietly in her thick New York accent as she sheepishly gestured to the larger muffin. “Then why aren’t they all like that?” At this point he was in a full rage as he slammed his hands down, crushing the two hot muffins on the table as they exploded like rocks blown away in a quarry.
To this day I still think this was one of the funniest things I saw at CIA. Due to the nature of the class, consistency is key. Large amounts of food have to go out to the customer in a consistent manner. I appreciated Chef Ward’s teaching style. It was a very hands on approach and it seemed like he had a genuine concern for students and their education. He was always energetic and it translated as a passion for what he does. It was refreshing to have him just after Chef Johnson, whose approach was the polar opposite. I thoroughly enjoyed Chef Ward and everything he had to teach.
His 3 word description. Energetic. Enthusiastic. Consistent.