TJ Garrish, CEC, Executive Chef of L’Hirondelle Club of Ruxton, used a COVID-19 Safety Training Course to showcase the importance of continuing education for chefs.
As a chef, I am focused on education, repetition, and consistency. Those three tenets have guided my career in the kitchen. So when I noticed the American Culinary Federation (ACF) had an online class for COVID-19 Safety Training, I viewed it through that same lens and as an opportunity to grow.
We’ve been dealing with this pandemic for quite some time. I’ve already read CDC guidelines multiple times. I’ve written a standard operating procedure and protocols for myself and my team here at L’hirondelle Club of Ruxton. But I thought the class would offer an extra measure to educated myself and, if nothing else, refresh the knowledge to stay consistent with our existing guidelines. It would show the membership that leadership cares and is taking every opportunity to better understand the situation and how to keep members and staff safe.
To be transparent, when I first saw that the ACF was doing a COVID-19 Safety Training I thought they were a little late to the game. But quickly I realized the value this would add to my knowledge base. I would even more equipped to answer any questions members or staff may pose.
The course covered a lot of information including minimizing risk and preventing the spread of COVID-19. There were sections on best practices for foodservice as well as advise from other chefs.
Reading through the CDC guidelines can be confusing, but the course laid this information out in an easy-to-understand format. The other helpful tools in this course were industry chefs giving feedback as to how they have been dealing with the pandemic in their operations.
We all grow from knowledge passed on from one person to another, and this pandemic has made that camaraderie even more important and enriching.
I cannot say that I learned any new information, but the repetition of the knowledge is paramount to helping stopping the spread of the virus.
As chefs we practice our craft over and over, building repetition into our daily lives because consistency in critical. This is no different. Repetition in regards to safety and knowledge will help us continue to provide a safe location for our members and team.
The unsung hero of having completed this course is the value it brings to membership. This certification tells our membership that we will continue to educate ourselves in regards to food safety. I wholeheartedly believe that we must go above and beyond when it comes to our food and member safety with regards to sanitation, cleanliness, and standardized protocols. COVID-19 has shined a spotlight on the kitchen’s roll in reducing the spread of germs and bacteria. The better prepared and educated we are on information regarding COVID-19 the better our choices will be with maintaining proper procedures in our kitchens.