Wondering and thinking about everything that is done in the kitchen—and considering how and why—are important behaviors we want to build in our students and encourage a stance of questioning.
By Dr. Fred Mayo, CHE, CHT
For much of the fall, we discussed helping students learn about themselves, assisting them in taking charge of their lives and in other ways building their professional skills. This spring, we will focus on another aspect of working with students: helping them expand their curiosity and their creativity. This month, we will discuss developing the habit of curiosity.
A Habit of Curiosity
The habit of curiosity is a pattern of looking at and wondering about things throughout the day. It involves noticing when things do not work the way you expected them and asking why things happen the way they do. Since it means asking a range of questions—who, what, where, when, how and why—this process of thinking actively engages the mind and builds critical-thinking skills, something so necessary for our students.
Unfortunately, there are many people who can look at a loaf of bread, a plate presentation, a clear soup, a glass of wine or a composed salad and not see anything. They do not wonder why it was prepared the way it was, where it came from, what was involved, what else could have happened, and why it smells or tastes like it does. While that acceptance without noticing and thinking may be acceptable in a restaurant patron, it does not belong in a professional chef or a student learning to become a chef. Wondering and thinking about everything that is done in the kitchen and considering how and why are important behaviors we want to build in our students. Therefore, we need to encourage a stance of questioning and a habit of curiosity.