Here at the International Centre for Culinary Arts – ICCA Dubai, we chef instructors are not just teachers, but are actually life coaches and mentors as well.
We not only have heard and used this terminology in our daily lives, but then do we actually understand the meaning of what it takes to be one ?
The successes that ICCA has had with its young Student Chefs in international standards competition is a clear example of the importance of mentoring not just with a focus on teaching and coaching of culinary skills but actually getting them to become real Winners as well.
Teaching is a task solely focused to help get the Knowledge & Skills necessary, what we say as the How’s and Why’s of Learning . This process is highly structured and timed; most cases assessed and graded as well, more so even in today’s time we speak about technical skills and competencies necessary to succeed in the industry.
Mentoring on the other hand is all about building and developing the Person. Mentoring is development driven process as compared to teaching which is all performance focussed. Mentoring is something long term and relationship orientated that focuses on the balance work, life and most of self-confidence and motivation.
A mentor generally will focus on the personal development and Career achievement of his Mentee. The relationship between these two people is also more informal and closely bonded, with the mentor taking a broader view of the mentees holistic growth and development. The mentor helps shape an individual’s beliefs, thoughts and values in the best possible way, in other words “a good mentor brings out the best of the mentee” to help him or her to become a real Winner in every way.
Hope we now understand the importance of being a good mentor and not just to be a good instructor for our young chefs to excel in their career.