Chef or Coach?
Usually when you ask a Chef about his/her kitchen, the first thing that comes to mind is the lack of competent cooks. Dennis Teo, the Executive Chef of The Sausalito Yacht Club has changed this model for his kitchen in an unorthodox way. He has taught his staff, a few of which were at risk youths; not only great cooking skills but also important life skills which translated well in the kitchen.
Dennis is a runner, not the runner you think of in a restaurant but an athletic runner who participates in marathons. He has shared his passion of running with his kitchen staff. Both he and the General Manager have always run for exercise and relaxation, and now most of their staff run alongside with them. They have run in six half-marathons last year and the only thing that the BOH staff argue about nowadays, is who will participate in the next marathon.
He has taught them how to be healthy. There is a pull-up bar so the cooks work out instead of smoke on their breaks. The family meals are always salad. He lives, works, and leads by example. His lifestyle which he chose to share with his team has translated into their work. They are a team both in and out of the kitchen. He is not just a Chef...he is an inspiration!