ed Hirschi, CEC, CCE, FMP grew up and currently lives in Kirkwood with his wife, Chris and their bulldog, Hoover. He has been a St Louis Chefs de Cuisine member since 1995 and is currently serving as chapter secretary and ECC Junior Chapter sponsor. As with many of us, he started in the dish room of a small restaurant during high school summer breaks. In the 70’s he met Andre Gotti and then worked for him at Old Warson Country Club. Chef Andre mentored Ted and advised him to enroll at the Culinary Institute of America. During these studies he met his wife, Chris.
Ted continued his career at Chez Louis Restaurant in Clayton where, as one of two English- speaking cooks, he learned the French cooks’ methods of modern food preparation. Later he grew into kitchen management when he went to work for Marriott Host at the St Louis Airport. He soon worked up to Restaurant Manager and then became one of their Regional and Corporate Chefs. During his time as a Regional Chef, he decided to return to school and continue studying towards a Bachelor of Science in Management and Finance, graduating in 1993 and earning his MBA in 1997.
He quickly observed that a good chef and manager is, among other things, a teacher. Ted enjoyed most those times when teaching made a difference in the operation’s performance. After teaching part time at St Louis Community College at Forest Park in their Culinary Arts Program, he took a position at East Central College in Union in 1993 as Hospitality Program Coordinator. Focusing on Culinary Arts as the single program emphasis, he worked with several chefs in the area to plan and build a unique quality-based educational format at the college. In December 2000 the program moved into a new building with instructional kitchen, dining room and classrooms. In 2004 the program earned ACF Program Accreditation. The program has continued to grow.
In September 2005 Ted and nine of his students responded to the Hurricane Katrina disaster by working at the Lake Charles, Louisiana Civic Center, a disaster relief center for over 4000 displaced New Orleans residents. There they prepared meals under the direction of local chefs until Hurricane Rita pushed them out. Ted also helps new and aspiring culinarians to learn about today’s cooking by opening his kitchen to local Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops, middle school and high school foods classes, 4-H clubs and home school groups. He feels a commercial kitchen can be intimidating, but takes this chance to make it fun and exciting while teaching kids some of the basic forms of food preparation and safety.
“It’s an awesome responsibility to be the first professional culinary encounter for new students. In an industry that has and will continue to experience a great shortage of qualified professionals at the entry level, I understand the need to get it right the first time in guiding and educating them to be productive professional cooks. From the start, I have used the ACF and the St Louis Chefs de Cuisine as a guidepost in helping me learn and meet those goals".