Young, energetic, and eager, Chef Robert Schumacher has the proven abilities to be one College Chefs' top chefs.
With an unknown passion for the culinary arts that started off as just a way to eat in class, a then teenage Robert picked a culinary class during his sophomore year in high school just as a way fill his schedule. Not knowing that cooking would become such a big part of his life, Robert went with the flow and blossomed throughout his high school years.
Not losing his fiery desire to continue his path in the culinary arts, after graduating high school he obtained his culinary arts degree. As well as taking advantage of many opportunities to work alongside classically trained chefs fancy restaurants that you usually only see on TV and movies.
A now mature Chef Robert is powerhouse pumping out delicious gourmet style dishes for the brothers of Kappa Alpha Order at the University of Florida and they are loving it! To quote College Chefs' GM of Business Operations, Dave Tarrant, "Chef Robert is one of our up-and-coming superstars, plain & simple. Knowing that we have talents such as him on our staff is exciting... We are so thankful we have him in Gator Country!"
Don't stop now, read more about my conversation with Chef Robert:
Q: So what got you into cooking?
A: It was my sophomore year in high school and it was time for me to create my schedule. I saw a culinary class as an option and became interested, well because... who wouldn't want to eat while in class.
Q: Where there any culinary competitions that you were apart of while in high school?
A: Yes, after being introduce to the culinary arts through my class in high school I got deeply involved with cooking. I ended up joining my high schools competition gourmet meal team where we did cooking competitions in the state of Florida. During my junior year we ended up placing third in the entire state of Florida and then during my senior year we placed second.
Q: Where did you get your training as a Chef?
A: I ended up going to Johnson & Wales University in Miami. My experience was a little different, I had the opportunity to enroll in what they call an advanced standing program, basically before getting admitted I took a test (which I passed) that challenged my skill level and ultimately allowed for me to graduate in 1 year verses 2.
Q: What was your first cooking gig?
A: Bern's Steak House in Tampa. I worked at Bern's for 6 years which was a time period well spent due to the fact that I was working under award winning chefs and I also met my fiance there. I gained a lot of fine dinning experience working as a Sous Chef alongside 70 to 80 other kitchen staff. On a average night at Bern's we could easily serve 600 to 700 people, Saturday nights was an upwards of 700 to 1200 people so I really did gain a very solid kitchen work flow.
Q: How did you hear about College Chefs?
A: My fiance and I moved to Gainesville Florida so that we could be closer to her family and to seek other opportunities. I was poking around online one day and seen an ad for a Chef position... The ad itself sounded interesting enough so I submitted my resume and well...here I am.
Q: How does working with College Chefs differ from working at a restaurant?
A: College Chefs has such a laid back environment, it feels so good to write and create my own menus. Being able to walk into my kitchen and know exactly what to expect for that day just feels great. I am able to plan ahead and prepare the best meals that I possible can and input my own ideas into my meals.
Q: Besides cooking what do you like to do?
A: Hanging out with my kid, my dogs, and my fiance.
Q: Any last words? Statements? Quote?
A: To all chefs and future chefs stay clean while in the kitchen, don't let your dishes pile up, and always be willing to take advice.
Q: What's Robert's ultimate goal:
A: To have my own restaurant, run my own kitchen, and to have full control over my food.
By College Chefs' Tiffany Square
UPDATE: Beginning 2015-16, Chef Robert has joined the ranks of College Chefs management team of trained chefs -- traveling the country helping maintain College Chefs' high standards.