Q: Name? Age?
A. Daniel Henderson, 38. Vice President of Product Innovation at Chefs Plate
Q. Program and year graduated?
A. Certified Chef de Cuisine, 2011
Q. Why did you choose Humber College?
A. Humber was the only College offering the Certified Chef de Cuisine designation of all the culinary schools in Ontario.
Q. Which class did you find most beneficial?
A. I actually thought the menu planning and nutrition classes were the most beneficial as I found that the dialogue between students was extremely rich and it was great to have robust debates with industry colleagues.
Q. What do you enjoy about your career?
A. For me, the best part of my career is that I'm constantly challenged each day. Working in the Food/ Tech space means there is always opportunities to innovate and find solutions to challenges that exist for our own consumers as well as within the broader food and beverage industry. Tech has been driving new consumer buying habits all across the globe and food & beverage is now really starting to see tech become more of driver for change. Working now for Chefs Plate, we are redefining how Canadians buy and consume food and beverage within their home, which is an incredible opportunity.
Q. What advice would you give future/current students taking this program?
A. Remember to connect with your fellow students and faculty and to ALWAYS network. Some of my fellow students are my best contacts in the industry today and have been instrumental support as I navigate the challenges and my career.
Q. What was the biggest obstacle you faced during your time as a student?
A. For me it was balancing work and study as I was working full time during my time at Humber. The support of fellow students and the teaching faculty was pinnacle to help keep me focused and prioritize studies/ schoolwork.
Q. How did your experience at Humber help you find employment after graduation?
A. I was employed at the time of attending Humber for the CCC program. However, I would definitely say that once graduating the CCC, the added accreditation allowed me to open the door to several new opportunities beyond my role at that time by expanding my skill set and growing my experience/ qualifications.
Q. What opportunities would you urge other students to take advantage of?
A. I always found that leaning into the faculty was always an incredible opportunity. The teaching staff have years of experience and are a fantastic knowledge base. Also - get involved in school and volunteer events, expose yourself to as many opportunities as possible to Network.
Q. In your opinion, what are 5 crucial skills needed to preform your job?
A. Project Management/ Financial Management/ Creativity/ Team Leadership & Coaching and most importantly - Willingness to Flex
Q. At what age did you start cooking?
A. As early as I can remember. My parents were always in the kitchen, so naturally as a young boy I'd be in there with them. The kitchen became a very comfortable place for me early and life and has been ever since!
Q. In what ways did Humber prepare you for the work world?
A. Humber does a great job of tying the learning and real life experiences together, most importantly to educate with depth and understanding, which in my opinion allows for students to have a rich educational experience, better preparing them for the start of their career.