tas and fellows

tas and fellows

Friends and Mentors
JWU alumni Profile TA Joe Leonardi 230x160

Joseph Leonardi ’97, ’99 MAT, CEC
Joseph Leonardi ’97, ’99 MAT, CEC is executive chef at the Somerset Club in Boston, Mass., and a member of the American Culinary Federation (ACF) 2010 Team USA. He taught in the College of Culinary Arts until 2009. Joe was a member of the ACF Team U.S.A. that won World Title for regional cuisines at the 2008 Internationale Kochkunst Ausstellung’s (IKA) Culinary Olympics in Enfurt, Germany. Under his coaching, the JWU Student Culinary Team took home seven gold medals from the 2004 Société Culinaire Philanthropique Salon of Culinary Arts at the New York Food Show, where Leonardi garnered the Grand Prize of Salon medal awarded by the French government.

What brought you to JWU I liked that there were young chefs willing to teach you, and staff that was willing to support you ... I also enjoyed being close to the city so that I could work on the weekends and take what I was learning in class and apply it to my job.

Most important lesson at JWU Not all things go the way they are supposed to, but it’s the way you react to change that will determine your new challenges. Dedication to your career or job.

Defining moment In July 2009, I competed and won the title of American Culinary Federation (ACF) National Chef of the Year. It was a goal I set for myself. When the opportunity presented itself, I pushed and strived to win the competition.

Career satisfaction I am the chef at one of the top social clubs in the world and work with great people and quality products everyday. Before I compete in the 2012 [IKA] Culinary Olympics, I would like to earn the title of Certified Master Chef.

JWU alumni Profile TA Scott IsmaelScott Ishmael ’85
Scott Ishmael ’85 is the owner and chef of Scotty’s Steakhouse in Galway, Ireland. Scott was an executive chef for the Holiday Inn Corp. in Orlando. He went from there to DavGar Restaurant Group, and assisted in opening exciting themed concept restaurants. Scott and his wife, Jennifer, moved to Galway in 1991 and opened a gourmet delicatessen. His small business matured into a full-service American steakhouse.

Biggest challenge Establishing an American-style restaurant in Europe in 1991 when all things American were not very popular. But we stuck to our core beliefs: values, service and quality, and we soon found respect and increased sales. Now, 19 years on, we are still here.

Heroes My wife for her support. My kids for their innocence. Tom Wright ’82 at JWU for teaching me what honor is all about. Dave Thomas of Wendy’s fame for his wholesome values and strong beliefs about quality.

Best advice “When behind, try harder, fight tougher and make sure every lesson was learned.” — Chef Robert Nograd, CMC, ’99 Hon.

Memorable JWU personalities Chef Kevin Duffy ’82, ’04 MAT for showing me that mistakes do happen. Rene Dionne for being a friend. Chef Fred Haddad ’99 for a sense of humor.

JWU alumni Profile TA Abid ButtAbid Butt, MBA, ’84
Abid Butt, MBA, ’84 is vice president of asset management for Host Hotels & Resorts, overseeing more than a dozen properties in the eastern United States. He has opened and managed operations in luxury hotels in Hawaii, Thailand, Canada, Malaysia and the U.S. for Benchmark Hospitality, and Banyan Tree Hotels & Resorts, and helped launch two lodging brands: Angsana Hotels & Resorts and Four Points by Sheraton.

Favorite quote “Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity.” — George Patton

Role JWU played in your career Education prepared me for the practical world. On-campus recruitment provided me with opportunities and I was able to secure a general management trainee position immediately after graduation.

Formula for work-life balance It is difficult at times to maintain the work-life balance due to the 24 operating hours of this business. You have to schedule and block time to spend with your loved ones.

Career advice for new alumni Learn as much as you can as early in your career as you can ... Find an industry leader to mentor your progression and help with career development. Stay in touch with the school and always network.

Most important ingredient in life Friends and family, health and happiness.

JWU alumni Profile TA Brian Foyer 170x150Brian Foye ’85, ’88 MS
Brian Foye ’85, ’88 MS is senior vice president of operations with The Capital Grille, a division of Darden Restaurants. He is responsible for the overall operations of 40 restaurants in 23 states. A chef by trade, Brian has won gold and silver medals in international culinary competitions, and has worked as vice president of operations at RARE Hospitality International, and vice president and general manager at The Educated Palate.

Heroes My grandfathers Bryon D. Foye and Lionel W. Allaire. They both defied the limits set for them and overcame various life challenges to achieve success.

Lessons from JWU Mise en place — a place for everything, everything in its place.

Best advice From my grandfather. Love what you do and the day you don’t, quit! It’s hard work — you should enjoy it. At the end of the restaurant shift, go home. You don’t want to end up doing something you shouldn’t.

Impact of being a TA/Fellow As Joseph Joubert said, “To teach is to learn twice.” The core competencies and the ability to teach what I have learned have allowed me to mentor others throughout my career.

Future vision Restaurant experiences are now a part of daily life, so health and nutrition will play a major role in what is on the menu and the manner in which it is sold.

Book on your nightstand “How the Mighty Fall: And Why Some Companies Never Give In” by Jim Collins