Clear and empathetic communication is an incredibly important practice for culinary leaders, and it’s a skill that can be learned and continuously honed.
“The topic of effective communication is important to me because I would not be where I am in life without it,” says Michael Matarazzo, CEC, Executive Chef of Farmington Country Club (Charlottesville, Va.) and Chef to Chef Conference coordinator. “I wasn’t good at much when I was coming up in this world, but (thanks to my Dad), I learned that being able to speak to people effectively and being able to identify the motives of those speaking to me, I would always be able to navigate through life successfully. I have always been fascinated with the idea that certain words, tones of voice, and strategic body language can steer the same conversation in so many different directions.”
At the 2024 Chef to Chef Conference, set for March 3-5 in Austin, Texas, Matarazzo will present on practical strategies for overcoming communication barriers and resolving conflicts constructively. He will also stress the significance of nonverbal communication and building rapport. Attendees will gain valuable tools to enhance their interpersonal skills and confidently navigate various professional situations.
Matarazzo says he commonly hear chefs talk about the challenges they have getting along with others or not being able to maintain composure in certain interpersonal situations. In fact, many people believe that they are predisposed to poor communication or reacting in an unprofessional manner.
“With all of the things that each of us do to improve upon certain technical skills within our profession, I want to show attendees that communication is also a technical skill, and there are many tools that can be learned and practiced and absolutely change the typical outcome of any situation,” he says. “Attendees will walk away from my presentation with a whole new way to approach human interactions both inside and outside of work. They will learn how to get the things they need, why it is that they sometimes have trouble getting the things they need. They will also learn how to identify, reflect upon, and learn from a ‘failed’ conversation.”
In 2024, the Chef to Chef Conference heads to Austin, Texas, from March 3-5. The 2024 agenda includes culinary demonstrations and education sessions by many of the industry’s best and brightest culinary leaders, plus networking and social events.
“When we are in the planning stages of the Chef to Chef Conference, we are very methodical about the content that we place into the lineup of presenters and always making sure that the topics are balanced and relevant,” says Matarazzo. “It provides a forum for club chefs to interact with other club chefs, relate to one another and solidify a network of peers that are all seeking to succeed at similar venues. The sponsors that attend the conference are always bringing forth the newest trends in ingredients, equipment, and service ware and really understand the needs of club chefs. … I learn something new every year!”
Space is limited, so reserve your spot early. Register at www.cheftochefconference.com.