Our Culinary Apprenticeship program recently graduated another stellar group of future chefs, caterers and business owners. The apprenticeship aspect of the program provides students an invaluable, real-world experience at several prestigious establishments. Topping the list is Park 75 at Four Seasons Hotel in Midtown Atlanta.
A Chef Known For His Flair
Program graduates are especially fond of their experience at Park 75 and learning under Executive Chef Robert Gerstenecker. [2017 Update: Chef Robert has retired from Park 75.]
Affectionately known for his flair in creating contemporary dishes, Robert uses the finest seasonal ingredients available from the restaurant’s Terrace Garden — from Atlanta and around the globe. His restaurant’s tasting menus have become dinner favorites, where classic meets contemporary, and the concise wine list is primarily American, with a focus on red varieties and many boutique labels.
From Easy-Bake Oven to Executive Chef
Originally from Ontario, Canada, Robert has served in similar capacities at other Four Seasons locations including Palm Beach, New York, Toronto, and Quo Quo, Hong Kong, before landing in Atlanta. As he states on his website, his love of cooking blossomed with an Easy-Bake Oven. After nearly three decades in the industry, he is just as excited about cooking today as the day he baked his first cake with a light bulb. “I’m addicted to the challenge of making sure each guest has an incredible food experience,” he says. “Food is ever evolving – you can never be perfect at it, but that doesn’t stop me from trying every day.”
A Former Student Reflects
A 2014 Culinary graduate, Edgard Sanchez says the skills he learned in the program, particularly under Chef Robert, have been invaluable.
“My passion for cooking ignited as I was trained by a great instructor and several Sous Chefs at Park 75 at The Four Seasons, Atlanta,” he said.
Edgard, a 22-year military veteran, has since launched his own food truck business called C’est Tout Bon 2 Eat. He recently auditioned for the Food Network’s The Great Food Truck Race and his vehicle was awarded Mobile Cuisine’s 2015 Best Food Truck Graphic Design of The Year.
In addition to Park 75, our program is strategically partnered with six other culinary sites, from catering companies to award-winning restaurants. Students begin a rotation pattern that begins on the fifth week of the course. They train at one venue for seven weeks, 15 hours per week. Site rotations are done every seven weeks, giving the students the most well-rounded experience possible.
The Kitchen Awaits
Is a culinary career in your future? Do you share the same passion as Edgard and Chef Robert? Our next class will begin in September, and you can also learn more by attending an upcoming Open House or listening to a free webinar.