This year’s Leonard DeGrassi Distinguished Faculty Award (DFA) presentation is scheduled for Thursday, September 29, at 12:20 to 1:30 pm.The recipient is Chef Andrew Feldman, the title of his talk is “Mis en Place: Attention to Detail and Continuous Process Improvement.”“Mis en Place” is a particular tool Chefs use to hone their efficiency and sharpen the quality of their work. Translated simply as “putting in place,” it signifies more deeply the manner through which planning, taking initiative, maintaining concentration, sustaining effort, communicating, and evaluating output are woven together to craft the ultimate utensil for time and resource efficiency. In an atmosphere of chaos, mise en place lends the order that provides a way forward, not only for professional Chefs in busy over-stressed kitchens, but for anyone who desires to improve the quality and quantity of their work, and of their life. Chef Feldman has been teaching full time at GCC since 1999 and has been the Culinary Arts Department Chair since 2006. Also at GCC, he served as Director of a three-year U.S. Department of Agriculture Hispanic Serving Institutions Grant, in partnership with The Collins College of Hospitality Management at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. He led GCC study abroad programs to Argentina in 2007 and to Bali in 2016 and 2018. While abroad, he seamlessly incorporated local culinary traditions into his courses. He also has been the Technology and Aviation Division’s representative to the Academic Senate, and he served on numerous hiring and tenure committees.Outside of GCC, he serves as a subject matter expert to the Chancellor’s Office of California Community Colleges. Since the pandemic, he served as a culinary content developer and live video-based instructor for the Hospitality Training Academy (HTA), a partnership between UNITE HERE Local 11 and its contributing employers. HTA provides a variety of workforce development, apprenticeship and training programs to train low income, marginalized individuals for jobs in the hospitality industry.He is a graduate of Colgate University, with a B.A. in Philosophy and Religion, and an honors graduate of the Culinary Institute of America in New York. He apprenticed at the Century Plaza Hotel under Master Chef Raimond Hofmeister in Los Angeles, worked as a restaurant chef in New York, and was a chef at two leading hotels in Boston before relocating to Los Angeles.
He has been married for more than twenty years to Pilar Cañas and they have two children, Keileh and Noah. Chef Feldman freely admits that his wife “is a far better cook.”