PA ProStart Blog
Name: Andrew Nutter CCC, CCE, FMP, M.Ed., M.A.
Occupation: Assistant Professor, Indiana University of Pennsylvania Academy of Culinary Arts
If you've been to a PA ProStart Invitational, you'll recognize our next culinarian— Chef Andrew Nutter, Assistant Professor at IUP Academy of Culinary Arts! Chef Nutter is a constant source of knowledge and guidance as lead judge for our competition, but did you know that he also served as a lead culinary author of the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation "Foundations of Restaurant Management & Culinary Arts, Volume 1 & 2" textbooks? We're lucky to have Chef Nutter as part of the PA ProStart community! Read more about his career and his advice for culinary students below.
1. What does a typical day at work look like for you?
Well, a typical work day begins around 7:30am where most of my office work gets done. This includes entering grades/attendance, curriculum development, class/lab mise en place, student advising, and faculty meetings which brings us to class time. Our culinary classes run from 11:30am-4:30pm every day during the fall and spring semesters. The summer semester labs run from 8:00am-4:30pm every day, with an hour off for lunch.
2. Why did you choose this career/industry?
Always loved to cook and was responsible for preparing my own meals on a regular basis. I began working in my uncle’s Italian restaurant doing odd jobs, and moved from dishwasher, to prep, to hot line, to assistant/sous chef. I always loved spending time in the kitchen, whether with my family or professionally.
3. What was your first job in the industry?
Ha! I worked in a pizza shop as a box folder/prep/dishwasher in high school. They would never let me cook, so I got bored with it and quit after one summer.
4. Briefly describe your career path and how you got to where you are today.
I studied Food and Institutional Administration at West Virginia University and received my bachelor’s degree in Hospitality Administration from Robert Morris University. I earned an associate degree in Specialized Technology from The Pennsylvania Institute of Culinary Arts, and completed training and study in Paris, France at Le Academie du Vin, Hotel Ritz, Le Cordon Bleu, and La Varenne. I received a Master of Arts in Adult and Community Education from IUP 8/08 and received a Master of Education in Workforce Development and Training, 12/11. I worked for Westin Hotels and Resorts on Hilton Head Island, SC, and was Saucier and Executive Sous Chef at Allegheny Country Club in Sewickley, PA.
I was a lead chef instructor in the Hotel and Restaurant Management program in the Pennsylvania Culinary Institute's Le Cordon Bleu program. I am involved with the ACF at local and national levels. I have been a coach/advisor for ACF Knowledge Bowl competition teams, winning 2 bronze, and 3 silver medals, including one regional and two national championships. I have presented seminars at ACF National and Regional Conventions. I also participated in state and national ProStart Culinary Competitions, in Pennsylvania, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, and California. I was the lead culinary author for the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation’s “Foundations, Volume 1 and Volume 2” textbooks used in all ProStart curricula. As such, I have been an invited culinary advisor for various NRAEF culinary projects and photoshoots held at Bracket Studios in Chicago, IL. I joined IUP in August of 2006, and currently teach Sanitation Management, Purchasing, Soups, Stocks & Sauce Production, Beef & Veal Preparation, and Fish & Shellfish Preparation/Cookery.
5. What is your favorite part of your job?
Getting to spend a year with our students sharing knowledge, laughs, stories, and seeing them progress to graduation from the program.
6. What is the most challenging part of your job?
Not getting to spend much time working on a restaurant hot line. I really enjoy working a la carte service but in a teaching environment, much of that pressure and excitement is lost.
7. What advice would you give to students interested in pursuing a career in culinary?
You cannot build a reputation on what you are going to do. Professional experience, a positive attitude, and good people/communication skills will allow you to market yourself into a much more effective employee.
Try to associate yourself with the best possible operations and chefs to build an effective resume and gain the most productive experience. Do not focus too much on the “money” when first beginning your work experience…focus more on the education and training you will receive.
When moving from one job to the next, always try to put yourself in a better-quality operation. Never take a job for more money at a less reputable establishment.
8. What achievement are you most proud of?
The pinnacle of my career would be to be inducted into the American Academy of Chefs. This will likely take place within the next year or so. That experience is what I would most be proud of.
9. What do you like to do when you’re not working?
I like to play my bass guitar, and spend time with my family watching movies, and travelling.
10. Favorite thing to make (or eat)?
I love pasta—any kind of pasta. I have been working toward developing professional quality pizza and hearth baked breads at home. It has been rewarding, and my family and I get to eat the results.
PA ProStart Blog
The PA ProStart Blog is for Pennsylvania students and teachers of the ProStart Program- a nationwide, two-level high school career and technical education program that teaches culinary arts and restaurant fundamentals.