Saturday, January 20, 2018

Know Your Profs: Camosun Culinary Arts instructor Rob Budlong knows the importance of teamwork

September 5, 2017 by Adam Boyle, staff writer

Know Your Profs is an ongoing series of profiles on the instructors at Camosun College. Every issue we ask a different instructor at Camosun the same 10 questions in an attempt to get to know them a little better.

If you have an instructor you’d like to see interviewed in the paper, but perhaps you’re too busy (or too shy) to ask them yourself, email and we’ll add them to our list of teachers to talk to.

This issue, we caught up with Culinary Arts instructor Rob Budlong to talk about influencing the next generation of chefs, elevator etiquette, and the importance of showing up in kitchen jobs.

1. What do you teach and how long have you been at Camosun?

I am a culinary instructor. I started as a substitute in 2015 and have been on a full-time contract since September 2016.

2. What do you personally get out of teaching?

I’ve been cooking professionally for the last 18 years and I’ve worked with a very diverse number of cooks. Some were enthusiastic and imaginative; some I wasn’t sure should be pursuing this line of work. I appreciate the opportunity to influence the next generation of chefs and I hope that I’m able to teach them both the technical skills and the competencies to excel in the profession.

Camosun Culinary Arts instructor Rob Budlong (photo provided).

3. What’s one thing you wish your students knew about you?

That I am very proud of my students when they come back from work experience and are all excited about what they’ve learned on the job or when they’ve accepted a job offer and can’t wait to enter the workforce.

4. What’s one thing you wish they didn’t know about you?

That I’m anxious for them when they enter the workforce because I know how much of a grind it can be when you first enter a kitchen.

5. What’s the best thing that has ever happened to you as a teacher here?

Having the opportunity to join the team. It’s a dream job to be in the hospitality industry, in my opinion.

6. What’s the worst thing that has happened to you as a teacher here?

When students don’t show up and the rest of the class has to pick up the slack. The kitchen is team-oriented and I want the students to understand that when they don’t show up, they let the rest of their team down.

7. What do you see in the future of post-secondary education?

The cost of living and cost of education are two factors that appear to be at odds. Nearly 90 percent of my students are working full-time jobs to pay for school so that they may ultimately follow their passion and pursue a career in culinary. Unfortunately, their schooling often suffers. I’d like to see post-secondary offer more flexible options so students can balance their priorities and their education doesn’t need to necessarily suffer as a result.

8. What do you do to relax on the weekends?

I enjoy fishing to relax, but I don’t seem to get out enough.

9. What is your favourite meal?

Taco salad!

10. What is your biggest pet peeve?

People who try to get onto the elevator before letting others exit first.

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