The Sustainability of Chefs
There’s something wrong with the fact that chefs—the people who routinely work 60 to 80 hour weeks in a job with a high risk of burnout—are the same people we turn to for nourishment. That a group fighting for sustainability across traditions, the oceans, farms and forests, are the same group working a job that might not be able to sustain itself.
Join us as we discuss some interesting ideas aimed at making the job more attractive for new applicants and more sustainable for those already in the system.
A 5th generation Texan on both sides of the family, Chef Robert Mayberry learned southern cooking from his mother; B-B-Q and Tex-Mex from his father. Family holiday gatherings and camping trips on Texas rivers and creeks instilled a love of the outdoors and an appreciation for celebrating with food which developed into a lifelong interest in all things food-related including foraging, hunting, fishing, gardening and cooking for family and friends.
After graduating high school in 1973, Chef Robert spent 13 years as a baker and cook in Central and West Texas. He later attended the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco. After graduation, Robert spent the next couple of years expanding his repertoire in Santa Fe at the Coyote Café under Chef Mark Miller and the Hyatt Islandia San Diego under Chef Michel Re before returning home to Austin. He continued to develop his culinary, management and teaching skills as executive chef at Onion Creek Country Club, instructor at the local culinary school, and executive chef and ServSafe instructor with SODEXHO at Dell Computer Headquarters.
Chef Robert joined The University of Texas, Division of Housing and Food Service in 2003 as executive chef as part of the initiative to bring modern foodservice to the university. His division serves the university's 50,000 students as well as 13,000 faculty and staff in seven locations. In 2007, Chef Robert accepted the position of Campus Executive Chef.
Chef Robert continues to work as a caterer and “camp cook” in his spare time, and finds time to garden and fish whenever he can.