Matthew Basford is the Executive Chef at Canoe, one of our Culinary Apprenticeship sites. He values sharing his experience with future chefs to encourage them to pursue the industry.
The Culinary Apprenticeship Certificate is an eight-month intense program designed for aspiring culinary professionals with a passion for food who desire something more than the traditional, classroom-based culinary education program. Students will work hands-on in the kitchen alongside professional chefs like Matthew who provide the tools needed to succeed in the industry. Apprenticeships will consist of roughly 15 hours per week in rotation between several prestigious venues.
When Matthew began, he was washing dishes as a way to get his foot in the door. It was helpful for him to discover if the cooking world was for him.
“It will also give you valuable experience in a most underrated area of the culinary world,” he said. “It may also help get you a foot in the door at top restaurants.”
From dishwashing, he was promoted to line cook, sous chef, executive sous chef until Matthew achieved the top spot as Executive Chef. He said, “It was all hard work and devoting time to my craft, always being willing to learn, and take advice from those around me.”
This chef finds inspiration in everyday things. The way ingredients can vary depending on growing region, rain levels and temperature. All of the creative freedom that Matthew has in his field inspires him on a daily basis.
His biggest motivation to achieve has been from his parents, “watching them work hard so that I can be where I am today is inspiring.” At work, he draws from those in the industry and his peers. He has found that people who have the same levels of expectation create an atmosphere of motivation and creativity.
For those thinking of pursuing a career in the culinary industry, Chef Basford said, “It can be a very challenging industry and is definitely not for everybody. The industry is both mentally and physically challenging; but once you get past that, it is extremely gratifying to see guests experience what you have created.”