Mentoring the Future
By Cheryl Mah
Chefs Quarterly Spring 2013
The most important thing a successful chef can do is teach and give back to the industry. Settimio Sicoli has done that and more for a profession he is still passionate about after almost four decades.
For the past 26 years, he has been working at the Vancouver Community College (VCC), first as a culinary arts instructor and currently as the assistant department head.
“It’s been a very rewarding career and still is. I don’t go to work thinking it’s a job – it’s a pleasure to see the students learning and progressing and knowing somehow you’ve helped them along even a little bit,” he says. “I love the inspiration and the passion that I can see in the young generation.”
The 63-year-old chef has dedicated the majority of his career to mentoring and passing on his knowledge to the next generation of young cooks. He has also been a long time advocate for the profession, taking on various leadership roles in culinary associations over the years. He served two terms as a past president of the BC Chefs’ Association (BCCA) and as the western vice president for the Canadian Culinary Federation. He has sat on various industry committees as well.
Fast HIgh QualIty Food
By Cheryl Mah
Chefs Quarterly Summer 2012
From pastry shops and hotels to airlines and ships, Hans Zimmermann has enjoyed a diverse career for more than four decades. He has traveled around the world, worked with many great chefs and successfully honed his talent and organizational skills.
Today Zimmermann oversees B.C. Ferries food and beverage retail services where his focus is on introducing new food concepts and innovative menus to the 22 million passengers that travel on the ferry service every year.
“On our ships we have 300-400 customers lining up and they need food fast. We need to provide high quality fast service and we do it well,” says Zimmermann from his office in Tsawwassen.
His other responsibilities include food safety standards, training, testing new equipment, sourcing products and working closely with suppliers.
“I work long hours. It’s a very stressful job but I enjoy it,” he says with a chuckle. “I started as a pastry chef and now I’m here as manager and it’s fantastic.”
Zimmermann believes the culinary profession is full of opportunities and if young chefs persevere, they can reap many rewards.
“What’s happening is a lot of people leave the trade but what I want to say to the young people is the opportunities are so incredible — so wide,” he says. “I know it’s hard but if you keep going and learning and travel, the door is wide open.”