Virginia Woolf once said, “One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.” Chef Tim Curnow’s goal is to make sure we continue to dine well, by training the future chefs of our region.
Now the Chef Instructor and Coordinator of College of the Rockies’ Professional Cook Training program, Chef Tim began his own training in the College’s Cook Training Short Order program in 1988. He then worked his way up to earning his Red Seal certification in 1992. After more than a decade of working in the industry, he returned to the College to share his knowledge with other aspiring cooks.
“I love cooking. It allows you to be creative and to challenge yourself every day,” he said. “It is very rewarding. And teaching allows me to meet new people from a variety of backgrounds. I learn as much from them as they do from me.”
In his 19 years of teaching, he has found each new intake of students to be unique.
“Even though the curriculum may be the same, I am always looking for new and inventive ways to engage each new class. The knowledge base of students today is a lot broader and continues to evolve with instant access to digital content.”
The most recent class of Professional Cook Training students had completed the practical components of their program when the COVID-19 pandemic required alternative delivery methods for instruction. Working from home has had a silver lining for Chef Tim, however, as it has given him time to ensure his materials are well-prepared for when he can be back in the kitchen with students.
“The Professional Cook Training program had just been through some changes. Now I have a chance to go make sure all of my materials are updated,” he said. “I do miss working in the kitchen and interacting with the students, though.”
Though cooking is Chef Tim’s number one passion, outside of the kitchen you can find him on the golf course, biking, or playing pool or darts.
To his most recent graduates, and all professional cook alumni, Chef Tim has a simple message:
“Stay positive and focused. Continue to practice your trade and take advantage of opportunities that may come your way.”