Everything but the kitchen sink

New culinary teacher Austin Boyd transitions from being a chef to a teacher

Culinary I teacher Austin Boyd worked at Seito Sushi from 2014 to 2017.

photo by Courtesy of Seito Sushi

Culinary I teacher Austin Boyd worked at Seito Sushi from 2014 to 2017.

Charlotte Mansur

A former executive chef from Lake County expected to create a new culinary classroom in a former computer lab while simultaneously teaching students a fresh curriculum could be called a tough transition; however new Culinary I director Austin Boyd has taken it in stride.

Boyd previously was an executive chef for Seito, a well-known sushi and pan-Asian restaurant in central Florida. He was best known for his ramen bowls and neatly plated sushi platters. So much so, that he won a local ramen competition pitted against the Oviedo’s Sushi Pop’s Chau Trinh in 2016.

In Boyd’s first year teaching in public school, he hopes to bring a new perspective to the table.

“I can help them navigate learning how to cook, not just from the traditional textbook style, but also all the things I’ve learned how to do differently,” Boyd said.

Although Boyd has never officially been a teacher before, he has gained experience through training other chefs and cooks.  His past experience has created a unique teaching style, one that students have reacted well too.

“Usually teachers are strict, but he’s approachable and still manages to teach us about cooking,” freshman Julianna Robles said.

Of course, Boyd’s success has come with a few setbacks. The room he currently is in was not intended to be a culinary room; therefore it was not set up for plumbing. This means no sinks or dishwashers are set up yet. There are plans to hopefully add a working sink, but until then Boyd’s students are reliant on the sinks across the hall in Culinary I and II teacher Jenna McIntosh’s room.

So far students have made pancakes, which don’t require many dishes, but as the year progresses and lessons become more advanced, Boyd will have to become more and more reliant on the Culinary classes across the hall.

“I’ve worked in a lot of different scenarios, so I’m willing to make it work either way,” Boyd said.

Nevertheless, Boyd still plans on cooking frequently within his classroom. For example, he plans on teaching his students how to make sushi using a variety of different seafood, like shrimp and fish. Boyd has many goals for his students this upcoming school year and hopes that all of his classes will be excited about cooking and want to progress toward Culinary two.

“My ultimate goal is to encourage the kids to want to be a chef someday,” Boyd said.