Having graduated Suma Cum Laude from Le Cordon Bleu was a huge accomplishment for our very own Chef Andrew Brackner. However, fast forward several years and many accolades and awards later and he finds it an even greater honor to have been asked to speak at the 2017 commencement for the same culinary institution.

Chef Andrew is proud of his career, but faces it with a down-to-earth humility that allows the entire team at Talk of the Town Catering & Special Events to shine every day. It’s this gracious attitude that he shared with the 330 graduates on June 17th.

Andrew was joined by a cadre of his equally well-respected peers in the culinary industry for the event.

In his speech, Andrew focused on the importance of facing any challenge with a “must do” attitude. Clients depend on Talk off the Town every single day and  in the face of good times and hard times, it is important, according to Andrew, that these graduates know that they will be depended upon every day, too.

He also shared two of his best pieces of advice.

“First, cook for yourself instead of cooking with an eye on a reward or recognition.”

Whether in a competition or in the day-to-day operations of Talk of the Town, Andrew has found that focusing on what he really wants the outcome to be instead of what he thinks is expected of him always impresses the judges and the guests. He’s a big believer in leaving ego outside the kitchen and not taking himself too seriously but taking what he does seriously.

Second, Chef Andrew was quick to point out that what makes a chef successful is not what we see in the dog-eat-dog world of food TV shows, but instead what makes a great chef is compassion, understanding, patience, manners, honesty, forgiveness, and flexibility.

And, it was with great pride that Andrew was there to watch one of Talk of the Town’s very own culinary staff, Ulysses, graduate with top honors!