Chef Molly Iles-Guillory graduated from Nicholls State University in 2014. Iles-Guillory says that she knew she loved to cook and that she wanted to be a chef, but was unsure of how to get her foot in the door to start her career. Since graduating from culinary school, Molly has worked at the Orleans Club and New Orleans School of Cooking.
Q: What is your current job like?
A: At New Orleans School of Cooking I am a Chef Instructor for the Hands-On Demos. These are recreational cooking classes where the students cook a four course Cajun/Creole meal as I walk them through the recipes step by step. As the Chef Instructor, my job is to teach my students, the majority of which are tourists, about the history of New Orleans and Louisiana, the difference between Cajun and Creole, and about our foodways and how they’re reflected in our recipes.
Q: What interested you in culinary education?
A: I never knew how exotic and exciting our food in Louisiana is to others until I began to teach, so I am thrilled to get to teach people from all over the world how to make gumbo.
Q: What is your favorite project that you have worked on so far?
A: Last summer I taught a BBQ Shrimp demo for the MTV dating show “Are You the One”. The couples were more interested in each other than in the cooking lesson, but the production team told me after filming that they learned a lot!
Q: How important do you think that culinary school was to your success?
A: If it wasn’t for CJFCI I don’t believe that I would be at New Orleans School of Cooking. Not only did CJFCI give me a foot in the door in New Orleans, but it also gave me the education and experience to teach others.
Q: What did you learn at CJFCI that still impacts you today?
A: I took something away from each class that I took at CJFCI to one degree or another. The beginning block classes gave me a deep understanding of the techniques and formulas to be able to teach others without having to depend on a recipe. Through Advanced Service Management I learned a way to understand every aspect of the customer service experience, which has helped me immensely in the tourism aspect of my job. It also helped me to understand that we aren’t just selling food, we are providing memories and experiences.
Q: What advice would you like to share with young culinarians?
A: Don’t stop learning! Keep cooking new things, be open to new experiences, and be willing to learn something new from someone unexpected.